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Thread: step towards terraforming

  1. #1 step towards terraforming 
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    We know a lot about the martian environment. But there is much more to know. i think we should first isolate the factors common to earth and mars. Then we should try to simulate the conditions on mars. we will succeed to a lesser degree at first.. we should make a thorough study of mars. I think as Mars does not have magnetic field its atmosphere is stripped off due to solar winds. there is again a question of low gravity. a thin atmosphere. not adequate amount of atmospheric pressure. Till then mars will only remain academic curiosity. atleast we can build space stations around the planet we want to inhabitate in the future. we can certainly develop laboratories in space and on the moonn and mars. we have a long way to go. Till then the question is " how do we finance a mission to mars"?. the finance should be sustainable and probably tenable. any clues?


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    Why would we choose to terraform a planet where the gravity is a third of our home planet's and there is no magnetic filed to protect from radiation? Venus is a better bet, despite its present inhospitable conditions. Regardless, it is pie in the sky. Ask again in about two hundred years' time.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury View Post
    Why would we choose to terraform a planet where the gravity is a third of our home planet's and there is no magnetic filed to protect from radiation? Venus is a better bet, despite its present inhospitable conditions. Regardless, it is pie in the sky. Ask again in about two hundred years' time.
    Certainly it's not a good place for humans to live, but with abundant carbon, maybe it wouldn't be too bad a place to set up a massive farming operation? I guess it depends on if it gets enough sunlight to be worth the trouble. It also depends on how hard it would be to get the right amount of Nitrogen, or if some plant could be bred that doesn't need it.
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    Mars is good base to exploit asteroids of main belt and great mineral wealth situated there. Also terrestrial day/night cycle is conducive to growing plants in greenhouse areas, perhaps with supplemental illumination from space. As for radiation shielding, easily done with some Martian regolith for human habitation while details of extraterrestrial farming are worked out.

    Why go to planet with one third gravity? Because it has one third gravity! Nitrogen is present in Martian atmosphere, 2.7% if Prince's source is correct- low temps at night on Mars should help with liquefaction and concentration of same. Nitrogen is essential to all peptides, proteins, enzymes, etc., not to mention adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, all essential for DNA. Nitrogen also useful for explosives used in excavation and mining plus handy rocket fuels such as hydrazine.

    With all due respect to dotcomrade Bunbury, Venus is much less Earthlike than Mars due to very high surface temperatures and pressures, not to mention corrosive atmosphere, at least such is Prince's current opinion. Plus Mars is more wet!

    On the other hand, a floating city high above hostile Venus surface would be really, REALLY cool:

    http://www.universetoday.com/15570/c...oating-cities/
    Last edited by The Finger Prince; August 21st, 2011 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Spiffy link!
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    The asteroid belt really isn't that close to Mars, certainly not close enough to build a base in another deep planetary gravity well. There are more suitable bases such as dwarf planet Ceres which is in the belt and for which we'll know a lot about in a few years.

    We're probably century from any kind of self-sustaining base on Mars; I think it's the first planet we colonize long after we're gone.
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    They say it'll cost maybe three trillion to put a few men on Mars.

    Why would they send a group of colonists there?

    Mars is inhospitable so all supplies will have to be taken with them as it could take years before they become self sufficient. So a job for the future when we have been fuel and technology.

    Some decades ago i read a book where they were talking of rockets full of blue green algae sent to Venus which would terraform the planet over 3 or 4 centuries (depending on how much was sent).

    I think hollowing out and sealing off a cave on the asteroid Ceres might be better in that it has more fresh water than the planet Earth has; so water, oxygen from water, and maybe hydrogen fuel from water.
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    The real goal is to find some resource or product that has economic value, and then find a way to start harvesting it with a bare minimum of a colony present to support the effort. If it's economically productive, then it doesn't really matter how much it costs, because it will be paying for itself the whole way.
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    Given time it could work, like Columbus struggling to raise money for a trip to America and five centuries later it costing less than many people earn in a week for a trip, and is done in a far shorter time.

    We have to wait for technology to catch up. And a new kind of fuel.
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  10. #9  
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    Nuclear fuel.

    Perhaps a "triangle trade" type of arrangement- manufactured goods to Mars from Earth, food and respite for Main Belt asteroids from Mars, raw materials from both Mars and asteroids to Earth. Keep in mind Mars surface area is equivalent to Earth, period of rotation is very similar to Earth, mineral resources are untapped, escape velocity is substantially less but presence of admittedly thin atmosphere allows aerobraking.

    Mars is natural choice for space elevator concept with lower surface gravity, releasing payload from distal terminal of same produces high speed at zero energy cost as energy is derived from planetary rotation- Mars even has high mountaintops near equator for proximal terminal anchoring point.

    Of all bodies available Mars is probably best for adaptation and use of present Terrestrial mining equipment, not so? Martian moons are natural laboratories to experiment with equipment and techniques applicable to asteroids, very convenient.
    Last edited by The Finger Prince; August 28th, 2011 at 04:08 PM.
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  11. #10  
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    I dont really understand the kinds of things you are talking about. But I do think it would be a great idea to terraform Mars.

    And I wish we would stop terraforming Earth (with carbon from our power plants and cars.) I live in New Orleans and its already hot enough !!!
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    They say it'll cost maybe three trillion to put a few men on Mars.
    Zubrin and others in the Mars Society claim it can be done for a lost less than that--less than $100 billion.

    Ceres was reclassified as a dwarf planet at the same time Pluto was demoted.
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  13. #12  
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    StarTram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Launch costs from Earth are first big hurdle. Nuclear propulsion would be best for manned missions, faster, plus maybe robotic freighters using magsails or lightsails. Powerful lasers pumped by Sun would be "engines" for sails and effective meteor defense instruments as well. Maybe tether a few at libration points of Mercury orbit?
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