NASA proposes a magnetic shield to protect Mars’ atmosphere
NASA proposes a magnetic shield to protect Mars’ atmosphere.
In the course of the talk, which was titled “A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration”, Director Jim Green discussed how deploying a magnetic shield could enhance Mars’ atmosphere and facilitate crewed missions there in the future.
The current scientific consensus is that, like Earth, Mars once had a magnetic field that protected its atmosphere.
Roughly 4.2 billion years ago, this planet’s magnetic field suddenly disappeared, which caused Mars’ atmosphere to slowly be lost to space.
This theory has been confirmed in recent years by orbiters like the ESA’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission, which have been studying the Martian atmosphere since 2004 and 2014, respectively.
In essence, they suggested that by positioning a magnetic dipole shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, an artificial magnetosphere could be formed that would encompass the entire planet, thus shielding it from solar wind and radiation.
The positioning of this magnetic shield would ensure that the two regions where most of Mars’ atmosphere is lost would be shielded.
Originally published at Cogly.