US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — One of the most serious problems facing potential settlers on Mars is the constant bombardment of deadly space radiation that they will encounter.
But a team of planetary scientists from the Washington Academy of Sciences talked about how to protect themselves on the Red Planet, Live Science reports: in order to avoid cosmic rays, they propose building settlements inside underground caves called lava pipes, claiming to have chosen the perfect place.
Explorers’ dream area: A deep shock pool called Hellas Planitia, near the equator, where radiation levels are lower than elsewhere on Mars, according to Live Science.
After discovering three structures that appear to be lava tubes, based on images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the team tested the radiation protection hypothesis in lava tubes. The tubes blocked up to 82 percent of the solar radiation that reached the Earth’s surface, according to their study, which was accepted for publication by the journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.
This is not the first time that experts have proposed using lava tubes to populate a new world: for example, the Japanese space agency had the same proposal for a settlement on the moon in 2017.
Even at lower than average radiation levels in Hellis Planitia, colonists will encounter dangerous levels of cosmic radiation, which means they will need extra protection before they travel to the Red Planet.
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