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What options exist it any, for a radiation resistant, transparent, and durable material that could theoretically be used for a ceiling of a martian dome?

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    $\begingroup$ Resistant to what sort of Radiation? After all, Light is Radiation, and if it resists that then it's not transparent. $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Mar 6 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ Any type of radiation that will cause you to die from radiation poisoning. I am more concerned with things like gamma radiation than UV radiation giving you a sunburn. $\endgroup$ – SciFiGuy Mar 6 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ I think you underestimate how bad prolonged exposure to UV is... $\endgroup$ – Arkenstein XII Mar 6 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ @user2745094 "Sunburn" is mild UV exposure. Severe exposure gives you skin cancer... You're probably safer with the gamma radiation, because humans are mostly transparent to it. (If you live in some parts of Scotland, you're probably getting a higher dose of gamma radiation from the granite than you are UV radiation from the sun...) $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Mar 6 at 23:49
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Aluminium Oxynitride

85% as hard as sapphire, 80% transparent to Visible Light, used as Bulletproof glass capable of stopping multiple 50 cal rounds. Capable of withstanding temperatures up to 2100°C, radiation resistant and resists damage from water and most acids or bases.

It is transparent to near-infrared and mid-infrared (but not to UV), so you might require an extra coating on the inside to block that (Transparency range is about 200–5000 nm)

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  • $\begingroup$ Isn't it extremely expensive to manufacture? I heard that's the reason it isn't replacing polycarbonate anytime soon. However I think it may be one of the better alternatives. $\endgroup$ – Efialtes Mar 6 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Efialtes It currently costs between 3 - 5 times as much as regular bulletproof glass - but it only needs to be half as thick to do the same job, and is much lighter (so you save a load of money on fuel or maintenance for your bulletproof cars...) $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Mar 7 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ Ah yes that's true, however for a giant dome it may be prohibitively expensive. $\endgroup$ – Efialtes Mar 7 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect the cost of shipping any material to mars will far outweigh the cost of the material itself. If it's twice the price and half the weight, it's far far cheaper by the time it gets to mars $\endgroup$ – sdfgeoff Mar 7 at 17:58
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Water ice could be used. It would need a membrane plastic coating on the outside to prevent sublimation and an inner plastic or glass inner panel to help with temperature regulation. But several metres of ice would provide significant radiation protection and the weight would help to contain the high pressure within the dome. If impurities are removed ice can easily be frozen into a very clear blocks. Water us available on Mars in large quantities and would be required at the first Mars base for ISRU propellant production, as well as a source of drinking water and oxygen.

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