The space agency intends that by launching a giant magnetic shield into space to protect the planet from solar winds, it would be possible to restore Mars atmosphere. It could also help terraform the Martian environment so that liquid water can flow on its surface again.
Although Mars has the reputation of being a cold, arid wasteland, the planet is believed to have once had a thick atmosphere that could have sustained deep oceans filled with liquid water. The planet is also thought to have had a warmer and potentially habitable climate.
This theory has been reinforced in recent years by orbiters such as NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), which have been studying the Martian atmosphere.
According to scientists, the planet could have lost all the favorable atmospheric conditions when its magnetic field collapsed billions of years ago.
Since then, solar wind high energy particles projected from the Sun has been stripping the planet's atmosphere away ever since. Without this atmosphere, Mars will continue to be an unfriendly place where life cannot thrive.
In response to this challenge, Dr. Jim Green, the director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, and a panel of researchers suggested that by positioning a magnetic dipole shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange point, it would be possible to form an artificial magnetosphere that would blanket the entire planet. This magnetosphere would shield it from solar wind and radiation.
Green and his team were quick to admit that their idea sounds far-fetched. They, however, emphasized that research into miniature magnetospheres supports their proposal.
"This new research is coming about due to the application of full plasma physics codes and laboratory experiments," Green said.