Scientists have revealed that the key to colonizing the red planet might be located directly below its surface!
The surface of Mars is too hostile for colonizers, as frequent sandstorms and the lack of natural radiation protection are incredibly challenging even for modern technology.
Therefore, scientists are searching for an alternative underneath the Martian soil, seeking places where colonies can be set in old lava tubes.
Researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, have presented their discovery with surprising implications for future colonization plans!
How To Colonize Mars
Lava Tubes (also known as pyroducts) are tunnels formed naturally by lava flowing from an underground volcano.
Pyroducts are the third most common types of caves found on our planet and can run interrupted for many miles.
One of the longest lava tubes on Earth is the Kazumura Cave in Hawaii, reaching 41 miles.
However, it appears that lava tubes are not specific to Earth, as they seem to be present on Mars and the Moon too!
The conditions inside pyroducts are favorable to shield potential Mars colonists from the harsh surface of the planet.
Francesco Sauro, one of the study’s coordinators, said:
“Lava tubes could provide stable shields from cosmic and solar radiation and micrometeorite impacts, which are often happening on the surfaces of planetary bodies.”
“Moreover, they have great potential for providing an environment in which temperatures do not vary from day- to night-time,” he added.
Space agencies are intrigued by the discovery, and they are now looking for planetary caves and pyroducts to support future explorations on the Moon and Mars.
Could pyroducts hide life on Mars? Perhaps NASA’s project Artemis will answer that!