Transforming Mars to make it more livable for humankind could involve creating an artificial magnetosphere for the Red Planet.
This idea has been suggested by a team of researchers, presenting the concept at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop 2017 being held this week in Washington, D.C.
Arid and cold
Their paper – A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration – notes that today, that planet is an arid and cold world with a very thin atmosphere that has significant frozen and underground water resources.
Mars’ thin atmosphere not only prevents liquid water from residing permanently on its surface and makes it difficult to land missions since it is not thick enough to completely facilitate a soft landing.
The research paper, led by James Green, Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters, explains that when Mars lost its protective magnetosphere, three or more billion years ago, the solar wind was allowed to “directly ravish” the Red Planet’s atmosphere.