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NASA Wants to Launch a Giant Magnetic Field to Make Mars Habitable

NASA scientists have proposed a bold plan that could give Mars its atmosphere back and make the Red Planet habitable for future generations of human colonists.

By launching a giant magnetic shield into space to protect Mars from solar winds, the space agency says we could restore the Red Planet’s atmosphere, and terraform the Martian environment so that liquid water flows on the surface once again.

Mars may seem like a cold, arid wasteland these days, but the Red Planet is thought to have once had a thick atmosphere that could have maintained deep oceans filled with liquid water, and a warmer, potentially habitable climate.

Scientists think Mars lost all of this when its protective magnetic field collapsed billions of years ago, and solar wind – high-energy particles projected from the Sun – has been stripping the Red Planet’s atmosphere away ever since.

Now, new simulations by NASA suggest there could be a way to naturally give Mars its thick atmosphere back – and it doesn’t require nuking the Red Planet into submission, as Elon Musk once proposed.

Instead, the space agency thinks a powerful-enough magnetic shield launched into space could serve as a replacement for Mars’s own lost magnetosphere, giving the planet a chance to naturally restore its own atmosphere.

In new findings presented at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop last week, NASA’s Planetary Science Division director, Jim Green, said launching an “artificial magnetosphere” into space between Mars and the Sun could hypothetically shield the Red Planet in the extended magnetotail that trails behind the protective field.

“This situation then eliminates many of the solar wind erosion processes that occur with the planet’s ionosphere and upper atmosphere allowing the Martian atmosphere to grow in pressure and temperature over time,” the researchers explain in an accompanying paper.

While the team acknowledges that the concept might sound “fanciful”, they point to existing miniature magnetosphere research being conducted to protect astronauts and spacecraft from cosmic radiation, and think that the same technology on a larger scale could be used to shield Mars.

“It may be feasible that we can get up to these higher field strengths that are necessary to provide that shielding,” Green said in his presentation.

“We need to be able then to also modify that direction of the magnetic field so that it always pushes the solar wind away.”

In the team’s simulations, if the solar wind were counteracted by the magnetic shield, Mars’s atmospheric losses would stop, and the atmosphere would regain as much as half the atmospheric pressure of Earth in a matter of years.

As the atmosphere becomes thicker, the team estimates Mars’s climate would become around 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer, which would be enough to melt carbon dioxide ice over the Red Planet’s northern polar cap.

If this happened, the carbon in the atmosphere would help to trap heat like it does on Earth, triggering a greenhouse effect that could melt Mars’s water ice, giving the Red Planet back its liquid water in the form of flowing rivers and oceans.

If all of this were to occur as the team anticipates – and admittedly, that’s a pretty fantastical if – it’s possible that, within the space of a couple of generations, Mars could regain some of its lost Earth-like habitability.

“This is not terraforming as you may think of it where we actually artificially change the climate, but we let nature do it, and we do that based on the physics we know today,” Green said.

The team acknowledges that the plan is largely hypothetical at this point, but it’s a pretty amazing vision for what might be possible in the years ahead. The researchers intend to keep studying the possibilities to get a more accurate estimate of how long the climate-altering effects would take.

If the concept does prove workable, there’s no telling just how much it would alter the prospects of colonising Mars in the future.

“Much like Earth, an enhanced atmosphere would: allow larger landed mass of equipment to the surface, shield against most cosmic and solar particle radiation, extend the ability for oxygen extraction, and provide ‘open air’ green-houses to exist for plant production, just to name a few,” the researchers explain.

“If this can be achieved in a lifetime, the colonisation of Mars would not be far away.”

The findings were presented at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop.

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90 Comments on "NASA Wants to Launch a Giant Magnetic Field to Make Mars Habitable"

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Guest

Im of the impression that’s what earth has it was put in place by aliens

Guest

what a lode of tripe they had better spend the money trying to sort the earth out we are in a bloody mess

Guest

you said it mate.its a shambles …

Guest

ya sure how the hell are they gunna get it there theyd have to have pivote points o the plnet with machinery built to creat a field that would reguire generators bigger then wat we got on earth ya amaybe in 1000 years time

Guest

Bit ambitious, fairly certain they haven’t even got a person in their yet

Guest

Its never going to happen

Guest

And ruin it as well?

Guest

Well go for it…

Guest

good send all the illegals there.

Guest

Mars is not a planet. It’s one of the seven wondering stars…we can’t reach the Moon because of the firmament…let alone Mars…

Guest

How do they propose to do that, unless they’re working on it already and just forgot to mention it to us.

Guest

Well ,put all of prisoners up in mars planet help out team work and the guard’s lots of them keep eyes on prisoners all of time tell them what to do on mars , if prisoners is mess up very bad things up ,pay of price punishment more

Guest

enves de preocuparse por otros planetas, ayuden a la tierra

Guest

I want females with 3 titties on Mars

Guest

Fuck mars lets make Venus habitibal

Guest

Too late. Wormwood is on its way.

Guest

And aliens will come back to life.
Especially the lizard men.

Guest

Teraform the moon first

Guest

Then a viable construction and assembly compound that could make launches easier

Guest

It can’t be terraformed not to mention all the meteors that hit it every year probably wouldn’t be a good place for long term life.

Guest

There’s life that survived the nuclear war on Mars and it’s still colonized with humans

Guest

HOW ABOUT ONE FOR IRAK. AND AFGHAISTAN AND SOME OF THOSE OTHER COUNTRIES….

Guest

Wow, you’re a gem aren’t you? Sounds better when you spell the countries names right at least……then your racism wouldn’t sound quite as pathetic. You do realise the USA is the one invading their countries for resources yes? No, that simple truth would be lost on you no doubt, as will this waste of my time in commenting…….

Guest

Didn’t Kirk do this in Star trek 2 life coping art

Guest

To make Mars habitable will cost millions, why not make our Earth a better place for everyone instead?

Guest

I say go for it let’s see if they can put their money where their BULLSHIT is. Either put up or shut up.

Guest

Terraforming, the beginning of colonisation

Guest

Now thats a hell of a magnetic shield what they have the Enterprise in orbit n its going to hit the planet with its deflector shield to help out

Guest

N ot A s S mart As we think

Guest

Marte é habitada à muito muito tempo. O fato é que isso faz parte de um esquema

Guest
Guest

Thanks nasa

Guest
Guest

Wouldn’t work.

Guest

Not wiv my cash your not

Guest

Can the so called smart people fix this earth first then kindly fuck off our solar system just get as far away as possible. Never come back

Guest

Stick a shield up then grow some plants . Then send all criminals their. Make them terraform it. If they wont grow plants and be nice then its there fault.

Guest

Ha ha, yeah right…

Guest

Lol we fucked Mars up and came. Hear. Now we are doing the same thing to this planet

Guest

What ever knob jockey

Guest

Here*

Guest

we’ved screwed this place all up. why would we need to go mess up another one????

Guest

Agreed but I truely feel they are terra forming it and we are already there

Guest

Because itz already messed up.
😨😨😨😨😨😨😨

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