New Study Reveals How Humans May Colonise Radiation-Hit Mars
One of the main obstacles to humankind's future attempts to establish a presence on other planets is radiation. Mars became an unhospitable world because, unlike Earth, it doesn't have a magnetic field and thick atmosphere that could have protected it from harmful cosmic rays and radiation.
An international group of scientists claims they have made a discovery that may help in attempts to colonise the Red Planet. In their study, recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers analysed data sent by Curiosity, which has been examining the surface of Mars since 2012.
The rover is equipped with various instruments, including a Radiation Assessment Board (RAD). As the name implies, the device measures harmful radiation on the Red Planet, which comes from the Sun and other sources.
While examining the Murray Buttes region of the Red Planet, RAD detected a 5-percent drop in radiation. Further inspection showed that about 20 percent of the sky was blocked when the rover was near the area, a detail, which suggests the latter can shield humans and equipment from radiation coming from the Sun.
However, there is one problem – albedo radiation, i.e., that which is being reflected from the Martian surface. According to researchers, the same buttes that shielded Curiosity from radiation coming from space, increased albedo radiation.