SpaceX is getting ready to head there in a few short years, and NASA’s moon missions are seen as a stepping stone to the red planet. However, the cold, hard fact is that this: Mars desires to kill you. Its gravity is detrimental to bones and muscle tissue, it offers little safety from radiation, and it is extremely cold. If people ever need to colonize Mars, they will need to give you unique methods to live there.
Enter “frozen smoke.” An international team of scientists is proposing the usage of silica aerogel, generally dubbed frozen smoke due to its look, to heat up the surface of the red planet sufficient to support life and melt frozen water. The aerogel is an extremely lightweight material already being manufactured on Earth and is at present utilized in NASA’s Mars rovers as insulation.
The examine, published on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, basically created Mars-in-a-box, simulating the light that hits the planet’s surface within the laboratory and putting a layer of aerogel, around an inch thick, over the top.
“We used a customized solar simulator to produce the spectrum and intensity of the daylight falling on the Martian surface,” mentioned Robin Wordsworth, the first author on the research. Wordsworth and his colleagues then marked the temperature and the way a lot of UV radiation passed by the aerogel.
He stated the experiments have been conceived as a result of current concepts to change Mars’ environment on a global scale seem “very hard to achieve.” As an alternative, the staff wished to copy the results of Earth’s atmosphere on the distant planet on a lot smaller scale.