Keynote: Space Weather and the Colonization of Mars
As NASA begins to finalize plans to establish a permanent human presence on Mars, it must begin now to address hazards and threats that will be encountered by colonists there. One of the hazards present on Mars that is not present on Earth is dangerous radiation from interplanetary particles emitted by the sun during solar storms. These storms can be so intense that potentially lethal doses of radiation and particle flux from solar events (such as flares and coronal mass ejections - CMEs) could threaten the basic viability of such colonies and impact electronic and communications infrastructure. To prevent or minimize damage, NASA has engaged the RIT Spaceweather Technologies And Research (STAR) Lab to develop an Early Warning System (EWS) for Mars. The STAR team is developing artificial intelligence and other advanced algorithms to monitor the activity on the sun and predict when such storms will erupt and strike Earth or Mars.