While Mars has not yet discovered life, people have long considered the possibility of one day living on the Red Planet. The problem with this idea is that Mars is experiencing extreme conditions that would make it impossible for people to survive.
Two of the most extreme conditions are very low temperatures and high levels of sunlight. Both make Mars currently unacceptable to humans, plants and other life forms.
Nevertheless, there are discussions about sending people to Mars, and some even offer human colonization on the planet in the future.
The US space agency NASA plans someday to put people on Mars. NASA's goal is first to bring people back to the moon by 2024. The agency then plans to perform several missions on Moon in preparation for sending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.
A new study suggests a plan that can allow people not only to visit Mars, but also to live there. The study includes researchers from the American University of Harvard, the NASA JA and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
The study, published in Nature Astronomy explains how a material called aerogel can protect life on Mars. NASA describes the aerogel as "the lightest hard material known". Most aerogels are made of silicon dioxide, a substance found in glass. Sometimes it's called "frozen smoke" because of its gravity and cloud-like appearance.
The aerogel made with 99% air is extremely light. The material also allows the light to pass while blocking harmful ultraviolet radiation. Aerogel has also been used by NASA as an effective insulator to prevent the freezing of its vehicles from Mars.
Researchers suggest placing shields with two to three centimeters. layer Aerogel in different areas above the surface of Mars.
Experiments include aerogel layer and lights used for Martian sunlight. Researchers reported that the temperature of the simulated Mars surface was raised to 65 degrees Celsius. This temperature would be enough to melt ice on Mars
The study suggests that a layer of aerogel in areas over Mars would allow enough light to reach the surface to allow photosynthesis. This is the process by which plants use energy from the sun to convert water and carbon dioxide into food.
If successful, this process can give people the ability to grow food on Mars. This would help reduce the need for supplies that require expensive equipment and fuel. The aerogel can also protect people from harmful ultraviolet radiation
Laura Kerber is a NASA JPL researcher. She helped lead the experiments. She said in a statement that after Earth Mars "is the most habitable planet in our solar system. She added, "But it remains a hostile world for many types of life." The aerogel can create "small islands of habitation" for humans and other living creatures, Kerber said.
Robin Wordsworth is Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Harvard University. He said the aerogel could provide a relatively easy solution to help Mars enjoy life. "Scattered on a large enough area, you will not need another technology or physics, you just need a layer of these things on the surface, and there will be constant liquid water beneath you," Wordsworth said.
can also be used to build living areas for living or solitary biosphere on Mars.
Researchers plan to make their experiments outside the lab and in places that have a Mars-like climate on Earth. Two possible areas include the Atacama desert in Chile or the dry valleys of Antarctica. Like Mars, these two places experience very low temperatures and extremely dry air.
I'm Brian Lynn.
Brian Lyn wrote this story about VOA Learning English based on NASA, Nature Astronomy, Harvard University and other online sources. Ashley Thompson, editor.
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