Terraforming Mars would be a dream. We will have another planet available, equal to the Earth, with days that last as long as ours, with frozen water underground, where we can breathe and live (please don’t destroy that too, though).
The terraforming process, however, is not exactly simple, it is necessary to intervene on the atmosphere of the planet and on characteristics that it lacks to ensure human life, such as a magnetic field. Mars does not have one and we should give it an artificial one, to prevent solar winds and ionizing particles from killing us.
The Earth has its field due to the dynamo effect generated by its core and we are unable to “activate” the core of the Red Planet. But there is another way and a recent study attempted to put it on paper. What we need is a strong flow of charged particles and the idea is to exploit one of Mars’ satellites.
Phobos is the larger of the two Martian moons and orbits quite close to the planet, so close that it circles Mars every 8 hours. The study proposes to use Phobos by ionizing particles from its surface, then accelerating them to create a plasma torus along its path. The project is ambitious, sure, but now is the time for theory and ideas, so when we get there we will have a lot of material ready.
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