NASA has marked its aim on the Martian moon Phobos as a prospective inceptive base for human exploration of the Red Planet but forceful solar emission could be an obstacle in this plan. A new NASA research showcases that the solar wind, the stream of electrically charged particles that the Sun emanates into space, generates an intricate electrical environment on Phobos, which could hopefully influence astronauts and any scientific equipment fetched to the intermittently shaped moon in subsequent mission.
William Farrell, lead author of the study from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement that they discovered that astronauts or rovers could gather noteworthy electric charges when passing over the night side of Phobos, the side overlooking Mars during the Martian day. While we do not anticipate these charges to be so massive to wound an astronaut, they are possibly enormous 3enough to influence fragile equipment; therefore, it’s the need of the hour to spacesuits and equipment that lessens any charging menace.
Theoretically, astronauts would navigate to Phobos and remotely wield robots on the Martian surface, minimizing the prominent time delay faced by Earth-based operators. NASA has contemplated Phobos as a possible initial base as its weak gravity makes landing of spacecraft, astronauts and supplies much simpler.
Phobos orbits emphatically close to Mars, and since it’s devoid of atmosphere and no magnetosphere it trudges directly through streams of solar wind and assimilates the electrically charged particles on its dayside. This in turn leaves the night side vacant. Due to these negatively charged electrons from the solar wind saturates this void and statically charge the moon’s night side.