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Tuesday, November 14, 2006|
People have spoken of using orbital mirrors to warm the surface of Mars for a long time. Well, Rigel Woida, an engineering student at Arizona State University in Tucson, US, has recieved $9000 from the NASA institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) in Atlanta, Georgia, to explore the possibility of using mirrors to "terraform" a small portion of the martian surface so astronauts don't need heavily insulated materials to preform their day-to-day functions. The mirror would focus sunlight onto a 1-kilometre-wide patch of the planet's surface. This focused sunlight would raise the temperature in this patch to a balmy 20° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit) from Mars's typical surface temperature of between -140° C and -60° C (-220° and -76° F).
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