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A large part of sustaining life on Mars is finding a way to give humans the life-sustaining nutrients they receive on Earth. NASA researchers are hard at work doing just that, in the form of a greenhouse system that will allow Mars dwellers to grow plants.

The space agency has already had success in growing plants on the International Space Station, but the same structure faces more challenges on the Red Planet. A team of scientists and engineers have created a prototype at the Kennedy Space Center which uses a closed-loop system to recycle nutrients in a way that imitates the lifecycle on Earth. Astronauts would set up the inflatable greenhouse on the planet, at which point they would be able to produce the plants and crops that are essential to breathing, drinking, and eating.

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As scientists continue to explore the possibility that water once existed on Mars, new evidence suggests that an asteroid strike may have once caused tsunamis on the red planet. For tsunamis to have taken place, water must have been present, so if this theory plays out, it could further the thinking that bodies of water once existed on the planet.

The research centers on a spot called the “Lomonosov crater,” long connected to debris having slid over the spot during a geographical shift. However, new thinking presents the theory that the crater was created by the impact of the asteroid hitting the planet, causing 150-mile waves.

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The quest to make Mars habitable is ongoing, with scientists trying various approaches to setting up communities on the Red Planet. The latest of these ideas comes from NASA, where scientists have proposed a magnetic field to overcome the planet’s environmental challenges.

Using an artificial magnetic field, NASA believes the planet could shield itself against the sun’s rays. Crafting this artificial field would be quite a project, though. NASA has named the project Mars L1, proposing two large magnets that would hold inflatable structures in place to serve as shields.

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