A research team has devised a plan to make a portion of Mars more Earth-like by slamming an asteroid into it.
This Mars Terraformer Transfer (MATT) concept would create a persistent lake on the Red Planet’s surface in 2036, potentially accelerating Mars exploration, settlement and commercial development, the team said.
“Terraformation need not engineer an entire planetary surface. A city-region is adequate for inhabitation. MATT hits this mark,” the Lake Matthew Team, the group behind the idea, wrote in a press release last month.
Key to the plan is a “Shepherd” satellite, which would steer an asteroid or other small celestial body into the Red Planet. That impactor would inject heat into the Martian bedrock, producing meltwater for a lake that would persist for thousands of years within the warmed impact zone, Lake Matthew Team members wrote.