A New Research Can Discover Life On Mars

SpaceX is preparing to head there in several short years, and NASA’s moon missions are seen as a stepping stone to the red planet. However, the cold, hard fact is this: red planet wants to kill you. Its gravity is detrimental to bones and muscles, it gives little protection from radiation, and it is incredibly cold. If people ever want to colonize Mars, they’ll need to come up with unique methods to survive there.

Enter “frozen smoke.” An international team of scientists is proposing using silica aerogel, sometimes dubbed frozen smoke due to its appearance, to warm up the surface of the red planet sufficient to support life and melt frozen water. The aerogel is an extremely lightweight material already being manufactured on Earth and is at present utilized in NASA’s Mars rovers as insulation.

The research, printed Monday within the journal Nature Astronomy, essentially created Mars-in-a-box, simulating the light that hits the planet’s surface within the laboratory and placing a layer of aerogel, around an inch thick, over the top.

“We used a personalized solar simulator to breed the spectrum and intensity of the sunlight falling on the Martian floor,” mentioned Robin Wordsworth, first author on the research. Wordsworth and his associates then measured the temperature and how a lot of UV radiation passed via the aerogel.

He mentioned the experiments have been conceived because existing concepts to modify Mars’ environment on a world scale seems “very hard to attain.” Instead, the crew wished to replicate the effects of Earth’s atmosphere on the distant planet on a much smaller scale.