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Space & Astronomy

Martian caves could act as radiation shelters

By T.K. Randall
August 31, 2021 · Comment icon 8 comments

One of many cave entrances found on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA / JPL / U. Arizona
Caves dotted around the surface of the Red Planet could provide a safe haven for future human explorers.
While satellites and rovers have explored much of the surface of Mars, there are some places that we have yet to even get a glimpse of, such as the subterranean world of the Red Planet's cave system.

Dotted around the surface, these mysterious cave openings remain totally unexplored and could provide access to a whole network of tunnels and chambers.

These caves have another potential benefit too - they could act as shelter for future astronauts.
Mars has very little atmosphere and no magnetic field, meaning that its surface is being constantly bombarded by harmful solar radiation that would make living there without protection impossible.

Now according to a new study by scientist Daniel Viudez-Moreiras at Spain's National Institute for Aerospace Technology, the radiation levels inside the caves on Mars are likely to be a mere fraction of those found on the surface, making them an ideal place for future settlers to seek shelter.

In addition, the caves on Mars could be an ideal place to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life, especially given that anything down there would be sheltered from the conditions on the surface.

Who knows, perhaps there's even something alive down there right now.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish 3 years ago
Interesting. If humans ever setup camp on Mars. Decide to place that camp in a cave. Wouldn't that make the first humans on Mars cavemen?
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
The first animal they encounter on Mars will probably be a woolly mammoth.
Comment icon #3 Posted by NCC1701 3 years ago
It really seems a good idea to go to Mars and try to decent into that sinkhole.
Comment icon #4 Posted by tortugabob 3 years ago
Would be a great place to check out with one of those new helicopters.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Iilaa'mpuul'xem 3 years ago
I will take my chances, surviving on Earth... 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
And they will kill them out to make BBQ !
Comment icon #7 Posted by Robotic Jew 3 years ago
It's a BOOB
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 3 years ago
It�s how it worked in Doctor Who. After something* happened to Mars� atmosphere and most of the indigenous sentiments b*****ed off to Deimos or another galaxy, the rest left on Mars went into the deep caves. *something being entirely another complex story to explain.

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