NASA Wants to Transform Mars Back Into a Green Planet

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 2:11PM
Space
Mars
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 2:11PM
NASA Wants to Transform Mars Back Into a Green Planet
Image credit: YouTube
Mars might be known as the Red Planet, but it doesn't have to be that way. One NASA scientist believes we can make Mars green again in order to facilitate future exploration and colonization.
 
During NASA's Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop earlier this year, Dr. Jim Green, the director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, delivered a speech about how Mars once had liquid surface water that was ravaged by climate change, and that daily temperatures can vary by a range of 170-degrees Fahrenheit.

Over its existence, Mars has lost approximately 90 percent of its atmosphere, with solar winds whipping it due its lack of a magnetic field, Dr. Green said.

"Are there things that we can do, that can help mitigate some of these extremes on Mars, and provide a better environment for science and exploration to coexist on the surface?" Green asked the audience.

His suggestion: to use already-explored models to create a magnetic dipole shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, where a device or object can stay in an orbit with a constant pattern.



As a result, the Mars atmosphere would theoretically thicken over time, shielding the world against solar winds and high-energy particles.

Current science shows that Mars could eventually, over millions of years, become livable on its own, but this proposed shield would potentially speed up and ensure the transformation.

Green suggests that the thickening of the Martian atmosphere would at first lead to equatorial warming and growth of the CO2-laden polar caps, as well as an increase in dust storm activity and ice clouds. 

The plan doesn't lead to an instantaneous terraforming by any means, but Green added that "for humans to be able to explore Mars, together with us doing science, we need a better environment."

Upon showing a rendering of Mars with oceans and healthy atmosphere, he pointed out that this could be what Mars will look like in 700 million years, "or sooner." 

That's one kind of climate change we can all get behind. 


Science
NASA
Space
Mars
NASA Wants to Transform Mars Back Into a Green Planet
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