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Thread: TerraForming of other planets

  1. #1 TerraForming of other planets 
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    I know this has been mentioned alot by people but one thing i do not understand is people only look at a small picture, if we made a green house type building for a starting prodject to get the terraforming started we would need to intaduce animals to allow the reproduction of the plants so i looked all over to see what requirements Bees needed to survive and for and nothing i was wondering if the animal had a lower rate of respireation or even a different type of internal structure than can help them survie a little easier in a lower consentration of oxogen, and if we started small we could keep increasing the size of that green house untill finaly we will be able to remove it and the planet should theoreticly be a almost stable enviroment (Ofcourse we would have to introduce other animals as the space gets larger but only other small herbivores ad maybe a 10/1 ratio of herbivores to carnivores to keep the animal population into it, i know this is long but Please keep reading now im only a year 11 student of Farmors School so i may not be as smart as some people but its curiosity that drives us right, also if we made a crater in a planet an put a non degradeable substance that is able to hold water, would we be able to introduce a underwater basic enviroment? i have some other stuff but i will wait to see if i get any good replys on this first before i make more of a fool out of myself, if you have any thought on this at all please reply i would be gratefull of your ideas and wisdom so that i may further my own knowledge


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Terraforming is very complex. There have been international conferences on the topic, attended by top scientists, and they are a long way from understanding the complexities. So, do not expect any of the amateurs, including me, on this forum to be experts.

    There have been a couple of attempts to create large enclosed greenhouses, to become self sufficient, producing their own oxygen, food etc. So far, these experiments have been failures. Watch this space, since more research will improve our abilities.


    In relation to colonising other planets.
    Yes, it will be done. As you suggested, the first steps to terraforming will be in enclosed and more limited habitats. To fully terraform a planet, such as Mars, will take a long time - perhaps thousands of years.


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    And the steps really depend on where you're talking about and what end state you want before your consider it terraformed. My own druthers would be to having the ability to take a short walk around in a through a Magnolia garden wearing nothing but a French bathing suit breathing from a nasal cannula attached to a small O2 tank!

    As an example.
    Mars.
    -Too little atmosphere, so you've got to thicken it somehow to rid of the pressure suit
    -Too cold though it's close to habitable during equatorial summers
    -Not enough Co2 for plants or O2 for animal life

    Venus.
    -Way too much atmosphere
    -Too hot
    -Too much Co2 and not enough water or O2.

    Mercury.
    -Too little atmosphere and too little gravity to hold on for long
    -Too hot, though it might be habitable at poles
    -no Co2 or O2

    My criteria would be limited to planets already near the star's habitability zone.


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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    To fully terraform a planet, such as Mars, will take a long time - perhaps thousands of years.
    True to fully terraform a planet will take about 500 years minimum, but the fact of a small enclousure is not that they do not work it is the fact of Polotics all the resorces are going in to other things (finding terrorists, preventing a attack from north korea) it is putting our motervation and funding on a lower level than if we all set up a conferance and made a truce (this would be almost imposible due to this would be a big target for a assassin)(but it is possible with a good negotiator) for every one to help fund one project like terrafoming it could advance studies to a new level enabling the chance of anything and yes the atmosphere is bad on mars but if we compress large tanks on earth and then use those as a starting base it can be done i belive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Confusing Guy
    if we compress large tanks on earth and then use those as a starting base it can be done i belive.
    It would be impractical to move the trillions of tons of atmosphere that would be needed. Apart from the impact on the Earth's climate there probably isn't enough fuel on the planet to power the rockets that would be needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    It would be impractical to move the trillions of tons of atmosphere that would be needed.
    im not suggesting the amount that you are putting through im saying just enough to hold maybe the size of london or something or even a little weaker for a small scale project that will grow large over time as the plants start working for themselves and produce the nessasary oxogen to exspand the small area
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    The investment cost of terraforming another planet would almost certainly bankrupt this planet, so the first question to ask is why bother? The usual reasons given are to alleviate overpopulation on this planet or to provide a refuge for the human race in case we manage to destroy ourselves on Earth.

    If the spirit of adventure and exploration is the reason, then look for a planet that is already hospitable to humans, or only needs minor adaptation, not one that requires humans to live in domes because the atmosphere is toxic.

    If we think living in domes is the way to save the human race from extinction, or to accommodate “surplus” humanity, then build the domes in Siberia, or the Arizona desert or the Sahara, where at least we can breathe the atmosphere and where water can be piped in, bacteria and viruses can be filtered out, and the population can be sheltered from nuclear fallout and shielded from radiation.

    There’s plenty of room in Siberia. It’s just a bit cold.
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    If we want to add atmosphere on Mars, we would not carry it from Earth. There are vast amounts of material - water plus volatiles - already in space, in the form of comets, and in the rings of Saturn. It would be far easier and far cheaper to attach ion drive rockets and slowly divert those masses to impact Mars. It would not matter much if it took 30 years to send the mass to Mars.

    Of course, we would have to make sure Mars was uninhabited at the moment of impact!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    There’s plenty of room in Siberia. It’s just a bit cold.
    in siberia there is no room siberia is a military training zone, and also Domes is not the right word yes domes will be there for a while but will be removed after a time so that the planet can sustain its self and also the sense of adventure is not about going to new places it is about learning and trying new things, it is not us that will destroy ourselfs it is ourselves that will destroy us, and again it will not bankrupt the planet the planets issue right now is team work not money they need money to prepare for war ( terrorist attacks ) people are wondering if there will be a attack on london in 2012 due to the olympics and also all of the other comotions like iraq and the queens flooding, and skepticyou maybe true but that also might cause numourus hazards and so the safer option is the longer option and if it means my grandchild will see it instead of me so be it [/quote]
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Confusing Guy
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    There’s plenty of room in Siberia. It’s just a bit cold.
    in siberia there is no room siberia is a military training zone,
    Have you been there? I have. There is a lot of room in Siberia that is not a military zone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There have been a couple of attempts to create large enclosed greenhouses, to become self sufficient, producing their own oxygen, food etc. So far, these experiments have been failures. Watch this space, since more research will improve our abilities.
    No kidding. Isn't it Biosphere 2, where they were so confident they knew what they were doing, then something they didn't plan for disturbed the oxygen balance?
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Confusing Guy
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    It would be impractical to move the trillions of tons of atmosphere that would be needed.
    im not suggesting the amount that you are putting through im saying just enough to hold maybe the size of london or something or even a little weaker for a small scale project that will grow large over time as the plants start working for themselves and produce the nessasary oxogen to exspand the small area
    Fine, but you would still be much better of shipping the equipment to extract oxygen from the air or soil.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    The investment cost of terraforming another planet would almost certainly bankrupt this planet.
    No doubt. And I think the only via alternatives will be finding affordable means to kick off certain process and than depending of a create or leveraged natural systems on the planet to do the rest. For example if you can start to melt the massive amount of Co2 on the Martian poles you get a very strong positive feedback loop towards making a warmer and thicker atmosphere.
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  15. #14  
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    How practical do you think it would be to genetically engineer a bacteria that could live in the poles and gradually liberate that CO2 by metabolizing it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    Venus.
    -Way too much atmosphere
    -Too hot
    -Too much Co2 and not enough water or O2.
    The best possibility I've read about for Venus is living in zeppelins in the upper atmosphere where it's a little cooler, and then using robots of some kind to bring materials up from the surface.

    The other major drawback for Venus is once you get there you can't leave. With a mass .9 times that of Earth, you'd need basically the same infrastructure to launch back off that planet as what you needed in order to leave ours in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    The investment cost of terraforming another planet would almost certainly bankrupt this planet.
    No doubt. And I think the only via alternatives will be finding affordable means to kick off certain process and than depending of a create or leveraged natural systems on the planet to do the rest. For example if you can start to melt the massive amount of Co2 on the Martian poles you get a very strong positive feedback loop towards making a warmer and thicker atmosphere.
    I doubt it's enough CO2. Besides, it isn't as strong of a greenhouse gas as most believe. At best, it traps about 25% of the infared window at 310k. Mars average is 210k, and the CO2 could never warm up enough to start a rise in temperature. What Mars needs is more H2O. Then maybe, with the strongest greenhouse gas around, something could get started. That is if it didn't all freeze...

    How would you start such a process with H2O gas when it all freezes?
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    The usual suggestion for warming Mars is giant mirrors in orbit reflecting heat to the surface. If the mirrors were light weight and inflatable, they could be sent to Mars relatively 'cheaply'.
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  18. #17  
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    If all you want to do is raise the core temperature, you could steer a few large asteroids into high energy impacts. That would create a lot of heat.
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  19. #18  
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    The problem with that, kojax, is the impacts would not be terribly healthy for people living on the surface, and Mars would cool down again if you did not keep throwing rocks at it.
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    Need to steer in comets, that are primarily water. Get enough water on Mars, and we might be able to terraform it. We need a few constant impacts to keep the right type of debris in the atmosphere to kick start any greenhouse effect. Aiming comets at the polar caps may go the trick, and change the kinetic energy to heat also. Then we can concern ourselves with nitrogen and oxygen levels. Supposedly, there is enough water at the ice caps to cover mars with 11 meters of water. However, that's a simple calculation. Some would become atmosphere, and I bet little would remain after being soaked up into the soil.

    I forget.

    Does Mars have a magnetic field? If not, all bets of terraforming are off, unless we can magnify mars somehow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Does Mars have a magnetic field? If not, all bets of terraforming are off, unless we can magnify mars somehow.
    Not really. At atmospheric being stripped is a relatively slow process unless your trying to achieve something for hundreds of millions of years. Cosmic radiation risk would probably put force humans to sleep well shielded underground, but can be monitored and exposure limited on the surface. I'm not too sure about effect on plants--hopefully someone else can answer.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Need to steer in comets, that are primarily water. Get enough water on Mars, and we might be able to terraform it. We need a few constant impacts to keep the right type of debris in the atmosphere to kick start any greenhouse effect. Aiming comets at the polar caps may go the trick, and change the kinetic energy to heat also. Then we can concern ourselves with nitrogen and oxygen levels. Supposedly, there is enough water at the ice caps to cover mars with 11 meters of water. However, that's a simple calculation. Some would become atmosphere, and I bet little would remain after being soaked up into the soil.

    I forget.

    Does Mars have a magnetic field? If not, all bets of terraforming are off, unless we can magnify mars somehow.
    Besides comets, some asteroids in the Asteroid Belt also have a lot of water content. it's considered likely that the biggest one, Ceres, has quite a lot of it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_%...rnal_structure
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    I wonder if any one has modeled such large collisions. One of my main concerns would be the ejection of materials into high orbit which potentially block the already feeble sunlight for thousands of years and long after the collision energy mostly dissipated. End state becomes a dim place about the same temperature with a frozen Northern hemispheric ocean with an orbiting debris field, or even a ring, hazardous to satellites.

    Ceres might prove to be a really neat place after Dawn gets a close look in a few years.
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