When I give my presentation of Mars Impending – and I go on to detail all those facts and cool things from Cislunar space to Astronauts training which involves some 3-D training, some training in a place similar to Star Treks halodeck, or I talk about the power generated by the SLS (Space Launch System) I often mention the 208,000 corvette engines that they equal the horsepower of, or the 13,400 locomotive engines; I don’t really discuss the possibility of living n Ice Domes on Mars.
Granted, I do entertain the ideas being looked at such as building bricks from the Mars regolith to then build a home, but then I discuss the fact that the weather would likely make living on the surface uncomfortable but the radiation would make it unlikely, so suggest that we’d be better off living below ground in the ancient lava tubes or until I heard tell of the Martian ice.
The astronauts who one day, not that far from now, will go Mars will find radiation bombarding them as they travel through space, but the effects are more than that! Think of the astronauts that landed on the Moon. They were outside of the protective shell/Earth’s radiation-protection layer and as a result received a dose of higher than normal radiation. In fact, the astronauts weren’t outside for very long and so the effects were limited but still…
Did they realize any bad effects? Maybe an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but not much else. But as I said, they were outside for a limited period of time.
What about when we go to Mars? Well, first off it’s a much longer flight. The Moon, well that’s a local call but Mars? Long distance for sure. That means a longer time of exposure before we even get there. That’s damage at the cellular level – could be DNA damage. I think I saw that movie! So what’s an astronaut to do?
Well, there are many possibilities. Granted we will be leaving soon in space-time, but not today. NASA is so close on so many things. First there are those objects that have hydrogen in them. See nature gave them a special ability. Actually
Dihydrogen, or Molecular Hydrogen, acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing hydroxyl radicals. What does this mean? When they get to Mars and are about halfway between the equator and the North Pole, there is tons of underground ice, literally! There is somewhere in the neighborhood of the amount of water one of our greatest lakes – Lake Superior has, but actually, maybe more. Some say it is more like the size of New Mexico. I don’t know, I do know there is so much water in different forms (yes even running) that it stopped mattering from a water point of view, but from a radiation point of view?
I give you, the dome. Heck embrace the dome! We’ve had TV show about Domes, both SciFi in an intergalactic way and closer to Earth. So basically we can access enough water/ice to make a Dome out of ice and what does ice/water have in it? Hydrogen. And what does hydrogen do again? Protect us from radiation…Cool.
Think of it – the entire dome is every kind of area we need! We can habitate/sleep in there, fix equipment without having to wear our full space-suit, we could take a jog, again, no pressurized suits. Grow our plants right in the Dome. (Don’t forget Asparagus grows in the Martian soil!) Oh yeah, and that worry about building materials to Mars, we’re good. And the O2 to fill the dome? Well, the same underground ice! It’s a cool idea.
Of course we could also just go into the lava tubes – same protection and it’s not an ice dome so no need to worry about it breaking with efficacy and non-toxicity.
One final thought; H2 has been in a placebo-controlled test that found H2 had potential when it was consumed as a radio protective agent.