Britain’s deepest mine could unlock secrets for permanent settlement on Mars

You may already know that people are planning to go permanent land on Mars sometime in the near future. When and how that will happen is anyone’s guess, but scientists at the University of Birmingham believe some of the answers may lie beneath our feet.

The researchers set up a laboratory 1.1 km underground in Britain’s deepest mine to investigate how scientific and medical operations would take place in the challenging environments of Mars and the moon.

The lab is located in a 3,000m3 tunnel network adjacent to the Boulby underground laboratorya deep underground research facility in Yorkshire focused on particle physics, earth sciences and astrobiology research.

The lab is the first of many underground facilities under Bio-SPHERE, a project that will study how humans can work – and stay healthy – during long space missions on other planets. The lab consists of a module of 3 meters wide and will specifically test and simulate biomedical procedures.

Tickets are officially 80% sold out

Don’t miss your chance to be part of Europe’s leading technical event

“This project will help gather the information that can advise on the life support systems, devices and biomaterials that can be used in medical emergencies and post-damage tissue repair in deep-space missions,” said Dr. Alexandra Iordachescu, who led the study.

The project also seeks to mimic the operational conditions people would work in similar caves on the Moon and Mars, including remoteness, limited access to new materials and challenges in moving heavy equipment.

According to the researchers, building underground caves could be a viable way to overcome the many dangers of life on the surface of other planets, such as deep-space radiation and falling meteorite debris.

“Bio-SPHERE promises to help answer some key logistical questions in establishing sustainable living conditions in remote, underground environments, thereby contributing significantly to essential preparations for our collective long, difficult and exciting journey ahead of us. is [to other planets]says Professor Sean Paling of the Boulby Underground Laboratory.

Outside the realm of research, commitments to develop permanent settlements on Mars have already been made by public space agencies, including the ESA and NASAbut also through private organizations SpaceX, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.