Active preparation for the exploration of Mars continues. One of the priority tasks is to create conditions on the surface of the planet for normal life of people and growing plants. Remoteness from the sun and the lack of atmosphere determines the existence of a climate on Mars that is unsuitable for terrestrial plants. But in the NASA laboratories, an original method was developed for creating local climatic conditions that allow imitating conditions close to normal ones on the Red Planet.
Scientists suggest using insulatingThe material, called airgel, created on the basis of silicon dioxide. The resulting material allows you to adapt the local part of the surface of Mars to the life of plants that need photosynthesis. The unique composition of the airgel, which consists of 97% air, even when creating a shell several centimeters thick, allows the sunlight needed for the photosynthesis process to penetrate inside the room. The material successfully blocks penetration into the killer ultraviolet radiation and creates a greenhouse effect, allowing you to heat the surface covered with airgel material.
The carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere is too lowMars, will not allow to create a greenhouse effect on large areas. In the laboratory, the method of creating an artificial greenhouse effect under conditions of illumination close to the conditions of Mars was tested. As a result, the surface under the created material warmed up to 50 degrees. This method will also melt the ice of Mars to get water.
For the final solution of the problem to besolve a few more questions. So for the development of plants should create a certain pressure, and the material obtained on the basis of airgel, too fragile. Currently, a variant of applying airgel to a polymer base is being tested.
The next stage of testing will take place in field conditions on Earth in places with adverse climatic conditions, in Chile and in the Antarctic.
Source: gizmodo.com, nature.com