In addition to shielding against the sun, the team at NASA believes the structure could also protect against the solar winds that are directed at Mars’ surface. The shield would first need to be stabilized, after which the planet beneath it would gradually become conducive to life.
Some scientists believe that Mars was once habitable, only drying up when the magnetic field protecting it from the sun’s radiation somehow deteriorated or became damaged. Interestingly, the same greenhouse effect that threatens to destroy Earth could also populate Mars with water by melting the two ice caps currently found on the planet. The proposed magnetic field was detailed at the recent Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop in Washington, D.C.