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Transforming the red planet to support life has long been a dream of science fiction. Mars is now too cold to support life. Its atmosphere is also too thin to protect any living organisms from harmful radiation. But a new study suggests that local conditions could be changed using an inch of ' aerogel ' – a synthetic and ultralight material made by taking a gel and replacing the liquid component with a gas.

The authors behind the paper,published in Nature Astronomy , claim the technique could produce habitable regions on the red planet and potentially allow life to develop and thrive thanks to photosynthesis – the process by which plants can convert sunlight into energy. But is this really the case? And, if so, should we do it?

Who is to tell us that we can't? To read more, click here.