Can Scientists Make Mars Habitable by Bringing Back its Oceans?

If water is the only thing that’s needed to support life, then maybe colonizing on Mars won’t be so difficult after all. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but that’s one of the latest ideas that’s materialized out of one of NASA’s brainstorming sessions. At a recent workshop, experts gathered around to discuss ways in which we can help Mars become a habitable place to live, and one of those ways happened to be creating an inflatable shield to go around the planet.

The idea to build a shield around Mars emerged from a discussion involving scientists from the Planetary Science Division and focused on erecting a magnetic shield to go around Mars to boost its atmosphere, similar to the one it had around 4 billion years ago. This type of shield would protect the planet from the solar radiation and winds that have already stripped the plant of its atmosphere and could even help transform it into a planet more like our own. Experts suggest that the shield would need to be placed at the L1 Lagrange Point to be the most effective.

This 1999 Hubble telescope image shows Mars when Mars was 54 million miles from Earth. (REUTERS/NASA/Handout)

The idea is that the shield would thicken the atmosphere so much that carbon dioxide ice would begin to melt and eventually as much as one-seventh of the Red Planet’s oceans would be restored. The report also explained how this enhanced atmosphere would make human exploration so much easier offering more oxygen extraction, more plant growth, and the ability for spacecraft to land on the planet without too much difficulty.

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