General, Research, Technology

Where can people live on Mars?

Let's imagine for a moment that the scientists managedsend people to Mars. But what will the astronauts do there? Mars is not the most friendly planet for life. There is at least no oxygen, not to mention the danger of cosmic radiation, from which the atmosphere protects us on Earth, but it does not exist on the Red Planet. In fact, the question of how representatives of our species can survive in the hostile environment of distant worlds has long been of concern to scientists. So, researchers believe that you can survive in the harsh Martian environment deep beneath Martian soil. Since scientists recently obtained evidence that Mars is a seismically active planet, there is a network of large underground tunnels that formed as a result of thousands of years of volcanic activity.

Forced to disappoint those who wanted to watch the Martian sunsets - most likely we will live on Mars underground

These tunnels, or, as they are called, lava pipes, remained after the fast-flowing lava burned through the Martian soil. It turns out that future colonists can live in Martian lava tubes.

Lava tubes - cavities in lava flows, elongated like corridors. Such channels are obtained by uneven cooling of the lava flowing from the slopes of the volcano.

What threatens future Martians?

Space, as you know, is not a suitable place forlife forms like you and me. The harsh space environment, penetrated by radiation, in the literal sense of the word destroys all living things. Even tardigrades are microscopic animals that can survive in the most extreme conditions. Back in 2007, researchers found that these "water bears" withstand the short-term effects of extremely low temperatures, cosmic radiation and an almost complete vacuum. Agree, this is amazing, but even they can not be in outer space for a long time. What can we say about human beings.

And yet, we have created technology usingwhich you can go into the orbit of the Earth and even its moon. In theory, we are close to interplanetary flights, and I think it’s no secret that the governments of many countries, including China, plan to send a man to Mars. But what do we have in practice?

Such colonies can only be built after we solve the problem of cosmic radiation

Read about how much to fly to the Red Planet in a fascinating article by Artyom Goryachev

Our regular readers are probably aware thatthe biggest problem for future space travelers is space radiation. In a previous article, I said that the results of scientific research on rodents showed that prolonged exposure to space has a devastating effect on the brain.

Do you think people will ever land on the Red Planet? Share your answer in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat.

It turns out that if the flight to the Red Planet takesabout 7 months, then people with severe brain damage can land on Mars and, most likely, they will not even understand where they are. I note that today there is no solution to this problem. As for the other problems that we may encounter in the open spaces of the cosmic ocean, then my colleague Ramis Ganiev spoke in more detail about them, I recommend reading it.

But let's still imagine that we managedsolve the problem of cosmic radiation during the flight and the first colonists successfully landed on the Red Planet. But what awaits them in this deserted alien land without atmosphere?

Lava tubes on Earth look like this

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Life on Mars

So, given all the available knowledge about Mars,the only more or less safe habitat for humans are underground tunnels or lava tubes. According to astrophysicist Antonio Paris and his team, which has been researching and evaluating safety inside Martian lava pipes, sheltering future colonists in deep underground tunnels can significantly reduce exposure to hazardous cosmic radiation. Moreover, the researchers are convinced that the “Greek plain” of Hellas Planitius is the best place to land.

The fact is that this part of Mars fallsless space and solar radiation than on most of the rest of the planet’s surface. According to the astronaut’s shelter in deep lava pipes, it can reduce its impact even more, thereby ensuring the colonists survival. But how to measure the level of radiation in the lava tubes on Mars?

It is hoped that no one lives under Martian soil

This is interesting: What is hidden in the ancient volcanoes of Mars?

This is where knowledge of lava tubes onThe earth. By measuring the external and internal levels of radiation in the lava tubes on Earth, Paris got a general idea of ​​whether the structure of the lava tubes is able to reduce the effects of cosmic radiation. The results of the study are published in the journal Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

“In addition, lava tubes can help inthe study of Martian geology and geomorphology, as well as potentially help to find any evidence of the development of microbial life in the early stages of the natural history of Mars, ”Paris writes in his twitter.

So, lava tubes may very well become oursa new home on another planet. Agree, although the prospect sounds so-so, for sure everyone remembers horror films about cave dwellers and other troubles that can happen there (for example, the movie "Descent" or the series "LOST"), but given the fact that we may not have another option to be - life in lava tubes - this is far from the worst thing that awaits a person on other planets.