Storm shelter

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Using a natural cave for shelter

A storm shelter is a place where colonists can take refuge from a solar flare. The main settlement will be well shielded, so it in itself will be a storm shelter. However, manned rovers, railroad cars, airships and landers will need emergency shielding if a solar flare occurs.

Physical Shields

Water-shield Greenhouse Concept

A good material for this is polyethylene, because it contains many hydrogen atoms, is light and can be made on Mars easily. Water, which is two-thirds hydrogen, is another shielding option.

Energy Shields

Strong localized magnetic fields have been shown to offer significant shielding from radiation. Such shields could be made portable for use on vehicles.

Open issues

  • Is there any way of measuring high radiation levels on the surface of Mars? If such levels are detected, will it be too late?
  • Even with space access, an autonomous colony will not be able to launch its own satellites to monitor the Sun until a rather advanced state of development.

See also