underground caves are potential shelters for astronauts

underground caves are potential shelters for astronauts

A team of researchers from the US Geological Society (GSA) have identified possible habitable places under the surface of Mars that could house astronauts – caves large enough to offer future explorers much-needed protection from the planet’s harsh environment .

In addition to temperatures as low as -65 degrees Celsius on the surface, Mars has an incredibly thin atmosphere with no ozone layer, indicating that solar radiation is extreme. Not to mention the real risk of being hit by a huge meteorite. All these factors reinforce the idea that the best place to live there would be the basement.

Cave on Mars detected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) satellite. Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

To detect the most favorable locations, the scientists searched for those within 95 km of a potential landing site and within one kilometer of altitude, which gave the spacecraft more time to decelerate as it passes through the atmosphere of Mars.

According to the newspaper The New York Timesthese criteria narrowed the initial list to over a thousand caves, listed in the World Catalog of Mars Cave Candidates, for 139 suitable rock formations. According to the publication, the catalog was compiled from images collected by instruments aboard the spacecraft. mars odyssey It’s from Mars reconnaissance orbiter (MRO), both from NASA.

1667326808 700 Living on Mars underground caves are potential shelters
Six caves on Mars detected by NASA’s Mars Odyssey satellite. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/USGS

After ignoring features such as bridge-like structures, which were obviously not caves, the team analyzed the remaining aspects of the cavities, narrowing the end result to nine locations. The largest has an opening the size of an entire football field, making for a tantalizing prospect for would-be space travelers.

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For now, the NASA robots currently exploring the red planet are unfortunately far from any of these points, indicating that we will not get close images of these “future human residences” for some time. time.

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