For this year’s research project topic, we chose to combat the high levels of radiation (36.5 times that of Earth’s) faced by astronauts on Mars.

As our topic, we chose to lower the radiation levels astronauts are exposed to on the way and on Mars. In the U.S. radiation is all around us, and we intake an average of 5 mSv (milliSieverts) per year. In space (specifically on Mars), astronauts are exposed to about 36.5 times the amount of radiation us humans are exposed to on Earth.

As our solution, we came up with a electromagnetic force field to shield the astronauts on Mars. This magnetic force field would block out approximately 97% of the radiation coming at the astronaut’s base on Mars. Without this shield, astronauts would earn up to 3550% of the amount of radiation people on Earth, in the U.S. would earn (0.14 milliSieverts).

We did an experiment with a geiger counter, plastic, Mars dirt, and a magnet. We used bananas as our dependent variable, since bananas include a small amount of potassium-40 (radioactive atom). We put the banana on a tabletop and covered the banana in 4 different ways: With nothing on top, with plastic, with Mars dirt, and with our magnet which would repel the radiation. After our experiment, we discovered that the magnet repelled the most amount of radiation from the geiger counter.

We then made a prototype of a Mars base with a magnet sticking just above the top of the base, giving out force fields and blocking all sorts of radiation on Mars! Radiation can’t get to us now!