An inflatable structure(s) can generate a magnetic dipole field at a level of perhaps 1 or 2 Tesla (or 10,000 to 20,000 Gauss) as an active shield against the solar wind and allow the Martian atmosphere to thicken overtime.
Mars atmosphere would naturally thicken over time, which lead to many new possibilities for human exploration and colonization. According to Green and his colleagues, these would include an average increase of about 4 °C (~7 °F), which would be enough to melt the carbon dioxide ice in the northern polar ice cap. This would trigger a greenhouse effect, warming the atmosphere further and causing the water ice in the polar caps to melt.
By their calculations, Green and his colleagues estimated that this could lead to 1/7th of Mars’ oceans – the ones that covered it billions of years again.
“A greatly enhanced Martian atmosphere, in both pressure and temperature, that would be enough to allow significant surface liquid water would also have a number of benefits for science and human exploration in the 2040s and beyond,” said Green. “Much like Earth, an enhanced atmosphere would: allow larger landed mass of equipment to the surface, shield against most cosmic and solar particle radiation, extend the ability for oxygen extraction, and provide “open air” greenhouses to exist for plant production, just to name a few.”
These new conditions on Mars would allow human explorers and researchers to study the planet in much greater detail and enable a truly profound understanding of the habitability of this planet. If this can be achieved in a lifetime, the colonization of Mars would not be far away.
The proposed Lagrange point system would not require massive amounts of superconducting cable with gigawatt generators. It would be a much smaller shield between the Sun and Mars. 2 Tesla magnets are easily produced.
SOURCES – Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop – A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration