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As the world homes in on Mars as the next habitable planet, some scientists think the answer may fall outside our solar system. Two planets show promise as potential environments for human life, a team of researchers recently stated in Science Advances.

The researchers point out that Earth may have become habitable largely due to the UV light it receives. Recent breakthroughs have indicated that UV light plays a role in the building blocks required to form life. The key, they believe, is to find a planet that has similar exposure to ultraviolet light.

To find the two perfect planets, scientists looked outside Earth’s solar system to find planets that had the right exposure to UV light. But there are more factors in play than being in a habitable zone.

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NASA and Elon Musk seem to have very different visions for how life on Mars will work. NASA has discovered, through a recent research study, that Mars simply may not be habitable, even if Earthlings adjust the environment to try to make it that way.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that Mars’ atmosphere isn’t conducive to human life. If the lack of atmospheric pressure doesn’t rupture your organs, you would either suffocate or freeze to death. Musk and NASA have both considered various ways to increase Mars’ atmospheric pressure to allow humans to walk around without wearing a pressurized suit. One idea is to gradually release the carbon dioxide that is trapped on the surface of the planet. Musk’s idea for doing this involves dropping nuclear weapons on its poles.

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NASA continues to try to find ways that man could set up a permanent home on Mars, but there are many challenges related to taking up residence on the Red Planet. But new research into a possible power source could solve one of the main problems with long-term residency there.

In order to live on Mars, explorers will need an electricity source, but setting up a power station on the planet would be complicated, especially without the supplies and equipment necessary. New research from NASA has discovered a potential answer to that in the form of small nuclear reactors. Called the kilopower reactor, these devices would provide enough power for settlers to set up a home on the planet.

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