Building wind turbines on Mars could power bases all year round
NASA and other international space agencies are hoping send humans to live on the surface of Mars for long periods by the 2030s.
By Mark Waghorn via SWNS
Building wind turbines on Mars could power bases all year round, according to new research.
They would provide enough energy for safe exploration of the poles during crewed missions.
Scientists adapted global a climate model originally designed for Earth. They simulated gust speeds across the Red Planet.
Solar power might be sufficient for investigations near the equator. But human colonies towards the north and south will need other sources.
Project leader Dr. Victoria Hartwick, of the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain
View, California, said: "Combining potential wind power with other sources of energy is really exciting."
Wind's potential has been doubted because of the thinner atmosphere, reports New Scientist.
For each unit area the US team calculated the theoretical power returns from four commercial turbines of various sizes currently used on Earth.
Along with solar power well-placed turbines could supply enough energy for a group of six people to live and work continuously, the study showed.
There would also be none of the radiation risks associated with nuclear energy, said Hartwick.
Mars has seasons much like our own. But they are almost twice as long since a year lasts about 687 days.
Hartwick said: "We open up large parts of the planet to exploration and to these really interesting zones the scientific community may have previously discredited because of energy requirements."
NASA and other international space agencies are hoping send humans to live on the surface of Mars for long periods by the 2030s. The findings are in Nature Astronomy.
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