Home Space The first Martians are supposed to spend the night in old volcanoes The first Martians are supposed to spend the night in old volcanoesAstronauts living permanently on Mars need protection from cosmic radiation, which is ten times greater on Mars than here. The best solution is to live in old lava caves. Space 2023-05-26 by Space Navy 0 Comment Astronauts living permanently on Mars need protection from cosmic radiation, which is ten times greater on Mars than here. The best solution is to live in old lava caves. A team of scientists has now found the safest possible shelter for a manned base on Mars: in lava caves from long-ago eruptions from now-dormant volcanoes. There, the residents will be well protected from cosmic radiation, which would otherwise be a serious health threat. Unlike Earth, Mars has no magnetic field to shield the globe from radiation from space. The people who will live on Mars in the future need to be protected in other ways, and at the Center for Planetary Science, people believe that the solution lies in staying underground – and the deeper the better. The scientists first looked for the area on Mars where radiation could be observed, and a large plain in the southern hemisphere of Mars, Hellas Planitia, was chosen. The scientists are looking for holes in the surface of Mars, where old lava caves could be hidden under the surface. The most favorable place is considered to be the flat Hellas Planitia in the southern hemisphere. The plain has the lowest surface areas on Mars, and the radiation therefore has to travel a longer way through the atmosphere before it reaches the surface. This alone reduces the radiation by half, but it is much too high and, for example, 25% more powerful than in the ISS space station. However, astronauts will only be there for a few months. The surface shows signs of caving The scientists therefore want to use cave tunnels formed by lava flow. Examining close-up images of the surface, signs of half-collapsed lava caves have been seen at many of the planet’s extinct volcanoes. The lava caves are older than 500 million years Lava caves beneath the surface of Mars were formed a very long time ago when volcanoes were still active. 1. Lava breaks its way Once the original crater is blocked by solidified lava, a new eruption can occur laterally. The lava breaks its way under the surface and thus forms a tunnel. 2. The cave empties When the eruption is over, the pressure decreases. Lava no longer pushes up from the side crater, but sinks back and partially disappears back down. 3. Tremors cause collapse The surface is exposed to earthquakes, for example caused by meteorites. Where the cave roof is thinnest, it falls down, opening holes that make the cave accessible. There are plenty of such lava caves on Earth, and the scientists have used them to study how well the lava protects against radiation. The results showed that radiation in lava caves on Mars is only 18% of the intensity of radiation on Hellas Planitia. If humans manage to find a deep lava cave in these areas, it would be an ideal place for the first inhabitants of the red planet.