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Terraforming Mars And Venus

phgnome

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Could NASA be starting to terraform Mars already behind our backs? When they terraform a planet, I imagine that it would take a long time (at least a few decades to thousands of years) -- does anyone else know how long it takes?

I read something else before that said that there wasn't enough atmospheric pressure on Mars for water to remain in liquid state (because a rock 100 km wide hit Mars a million years ago with such force that the atmosphere was affected). But if water turns to liquid state, does that increase atmospheric pressure -- what I think I'm asking is if carbon dioxide is released as a by-product -- will the water remain in liquid state after the storm subsides? Does this storm have any chance of releasing carbon dioxide into its atmosphere?

I had thought about them shooting a bomb loaded with CO2 (since we seem to have so much of it). But if they could do it by displacing the moons of Mars, would it have a greater effect?
 
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A

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Blue Mars

Oh well- not much CO2 on our sister planet-
this will make terraformingit much more difficult...
still, other options could be found, like dumping carbon or ammonia rich asteroids on it(ammonia is a good greenhouse gas)

and then there is plenty of unwanted CO2 on Venus- extracting the CO2 will also cool that planet, and rotating tether technology could fling the gas in containers towards mars relatively cheaply.
Pity that Venus has very little magnetic field, as this could have powered the tethers as well -
still, solar energy will have to do.
After thousands of years of gas exchange in this way, with luck, we could have a warm Mars and a cooler Venus.
Just a thought.
 
A

Anonymous

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Sorry to start on a pedantic note, but surely our sister planet is Venus, not Mars? The God of War is not female, methinks.
I guess Mars would always be a bit on the nippy side, being that much further from the Sun. I mean, even the Earth would be permanently frozen if it were not for the greenhouse effect, which has existed on Earth, contrary to popular belief, for about 3 billion years.
In Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars the first colonists deploy thousands of small windmills, which have a heating element powered by the rotation. It can get very windy indeed on Mars, so using this methodology would start to warm the planet and thicken up the atmosphere a bit. It has also been suggested that CFCs, which are banned here for environmental reasons, would make a good greenhouse gas for Mars.
Inevitably it would be like living in Antarctica, temperature-wise, to start off with. Still, at least there's plenty of water.

Big Bill Robinson
 
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Anonymous

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Yes, I was thinking of calling Mars a brother planet- but decided on sister as the default gender for heavenly bodies
heh heh
you know extra insolation could be arranged by beaming additional light energy from near solar orbit...
even Europa and other outer moons could perhaps benefit from additional sunlight
 

tzb57r

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I also hate to be pedantic, but windmills with heating elements could not work. You are not adding any energy to the system doing this, you are merely changing it from kinetic to thermal. Also, while the wind on Mars is fast, the atmosphere is very thin I believe 1% that of sea level Earth. Would there be enough energy in the wind to turn a turbine. When the atmosphere is full of the fine Martian dust, would this not scour any free-standing structures?

This could work if the elements were then being used to sublimate solid CO2 into the atmosphere, because here you are adding (actually reducing loss, but it is the same thing) energy to the system. :confused:

OK. I'm not sure, but it doesn't feel right.
 
A

Anonymous

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It is still worth doing, just to create energy to power the colonies and produce a bit more infra-red to be trapped by the greenhouse effect-
actually, a good idea to thicken up the atmosphere a bit first, and water vapour might work-
that acts as a greenhouse gas-
so dump a small asteroid on the ice cap, causing it to partly vapourise, and thicken up the atmosphere- when the dust has settled start the turbines-
(the only extra energy comes from a tiny increase in tidal effects in the thicker atmosphere)

oh bugger- clouds!
I forgot them- they will make the albedo go up from 20%
to 40%
heh heh
 

wembley8

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"If we hit the north and south poles of Mars with a few (hundred)comets and other icy bodies we might be able to turn red mars to green."

Alternatively, we could spend the money on something useful, like supplying clean water to the millions on earth who still do not have access.
 

Kondoru

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`Useful` meaning `a way to increase the population problem`??

I would subsidise clean water for all...Provided I could get it as cheaply as Water Aid claims it can supply clean water for!
 
A

Anonymous

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Absolutely.
It will take a lot of energy to colonise the solar system; there is a lot of energy available up there, and also in the seas of our own world (assuming the feasibility of deuterium fusion and ocean thermal energy conversion)- energy to purify the oceans of our world and provide fresh water for all.
(some people seem to think that the world will run out of energy and resources soon- I say look to the Sun! Good for billions of years yet!)


If there is a world crying out to be made fit for human habitation, this Earth of ours is the first priority.
The amount of energy required to achieve the terraformation of Mars will be much greater in magnitude than that required to make Earth a comfortable place for all its inhabitants.

Oh, and a wealthy world would be one with a low birth rate, as Europe and America demonstrate.
 

Kondoru

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Yes, thats why my best friends on her third.

No, seriously, I would prefer to terraform Venus, Mars is nice as it is, while Venus is in need of a little improvement.

And there is one thing about Mars that you CANNOT change, and that is the annoyingly low gravity. On Venus you would lose just a little weight....

...and that is surley a good thing.
 
A

Anonymous

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Why would low gravity be annoying? We're adaptable little buggers?

And leave Venus alone! Lead frosts, metal snow, it sounds like the most interesting place in the whole Solar system.

Personally don't like the idea of terraforming, especially if there's even the remotest chance of life existing now or in the future. Bear in mind that planets/moons that are too cold now may be ideal in a billion years as the sun heats up and expands.
 

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From the front page:

Is Mars Ours?

The logistics and ethics of colonizing the red planet.
By David Grinspoon
Posted Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004, at 4:26 PM PT



Mars: better red than dead

What a joy and a relief that we're back on Mars. The fourth stone from the sun has taunted us for centuries with shifting but persistent visions of nearby alien life. Finally, after several conspicuous failures, we have a conspicuous success: a six-wheeled, mini-Cooper-sized robot preparing to crawl across an ancient lake-bed, scratching and sniffing for subtle signs of past habitability.

What we will do on Mars for the next few months and, with future missions, for the rest of the decade, is clear: dig in the dirt and take in the air to learn the history of landscapes far more ancient than any left on Earth.

But what should we plan to do on Mars over the following decades, centuries, and millennia? The Mars Society, an organization dedicated to the proposition that we must send people to Mars ASAP, has an answer: build enclosed colonies there in the next few decades. Then, later in the century, begin to "terraform" Mars—this means altering the air and surface, turning the red planet blue and green, making it habitable and remaking it in the Earth's image. After that, we'll wander there without giant protective domes or even Mars suits.

Reflexively, I am sympathetic. After all, I was a teenage space activist. I grew up high on the miracle of Apollo and the wonders of Clarke's 2001. My high-school friends and I felt part of a community of smart, forward-looking space and technology freaks. We flocked to grok Spock at science fiction conventions, and we eagerly joined the L5 Society, which is committed to beginning the human migration to space. L5—a stable point in empty space where the gravities of Earth and Moon are balanced, so objects, including space colonies, will stay put forever—was where we would build the first colony. We thought that we might live up there as adults. Our slogan then was "L5 in '95!"

Yet the disconnect between my youthful space idealism and at least some of today's more zealous advocates of the "humans to Mars" movement became evident when I attended the "Ethics of Terraforming" panel discussion at the founding convention of the Mars Society, held in Boulder, Colo., in August 1998. This event was hailed as the "Woodstock of Mars," and although there wasn't any rolling in the mud, there may have been some bad acid in the water supply, judging from some of the loose talk spilling from the stage.

Bob Zubrin, Mars Society President, stated that mankind has a duty to terraform Mars, that given the choice between letting Mars remain the sorry planet that it is and transforming it in Earth's image, we have a moral obligation to do the latter. He added that it is the Western tradition to expand continually and to value humans above nature, that "this is the only system of values that has created a society worth living in."

These comments were amplified by panelist Lowell Wood, an architect of Reagan-era "Star Wars" space-based weapons plans. Wood stated confidently that terraforming Mars will happen in the 21st century. "It is the manifest destiny of the human race!" he declared and went on to boast, "In this country we are the builders of new worlds. In this country we took a raw wilderness and turned it into the shining city on the hill of our world." To hell with terraforming: It seemed that we were discussing the Ameriforming of Mars.

Hearing these words, my heart sank. Is this really the way we want to frame our dreams of inhabiting Mars? Maybe these guys are simply not aware of the historical use of this phrase and its negative connotations, I thought. This hope vanished when Zubrin leapt to the defense of Manifest Destiny, shouting, "By developing the American West we have created a place that millions of Mexicans are trying to get into!" to a smattering of applause (and some gasps of disbelief) from the crowd.

Zubrin has written that we need to go to Mars because it will serve the same function that "pioneering the West" did for American civilization, creating jobs and opportunity and relieving population pressure. If there were an award for "most unfortunate choice of analogies," this should win. It is historically inaccurate, culturally clueless, and fails to capture some of the most compelling reasons why we really should consider someday bringing Mars to life by inhabiting it and perhaps eventually altering its environment with (and for) living creatures.

As of this writing, Mars has no people to be displaced. A better analogy is the original peopling of the Earth. The Mars colonists will be more like those brave souls first venturing from Africa 50,000 years ago than the European invaders of the American West. On Mars and beyond, we may have the opportunity to explore lands that are truly unoccupied, giving outlet to our need to explore without trampling on others.

Of course, it's possible that Mars is already inhabited by some kind of creature, and that could radically change the ethical landscape for future human activities. Perhaps some primitive bacteria, or the Martian equivalent, are living large in an underground hot spring, safe from the dry, freezing, irradiated surface. This is why we need to first proceed with our current robotic explorers, to make sure that Mars, today, really is as dead as it looks.

If it is, then bringing life there—humans, trees, fish, and slime-mold, say—will be the right thing to do. Why? If you find an unused, vacant lot, isn't it worthwhile to plant a garden there? Furthermore, as long as we are a single-planet species, we are vulnerable to extinction by a planetwide catastrophe, natural or self-induced. Once we become a multiplanet species, our chances to live long and prosper will take a huge leap skyward.

Today on Earth we are grappling with the fact that you cannot "conquer" a planet, even if—especially if—it is your home and your life support system. If we go to Mars with the idea that we can charge ahead and subdue a new world, our efforts are doomed. We should rather study how we might learn to help cultivate a Martian Biosphere that is balanced and self-sustaining, as is the Earth's. (On the other hand, the conquering mentality would save us time and money. We could skip planting the Martian forests, which would eventually be chopped down anyway, and go straight to sprawling developments of condos, strip malls, Starbucks, and Blockbuster Videos.)

But the future peopling of Mars is much more than a scientific endeavor. It is a step of historic and spiritual importance for the human race. Any group that seeks to garner support for human journeys to Mars must reassure people that this goal is broadly humanistic and environmentally conscientious. There is no reason why this can't be the case. The fanatical comments quoted above do not represent the majority view of Mars Society members; some are credible, thoughtful activists with an inclusive vision more likely to win wide support for continued Mars exploration. I hope they succeed in burying the "pioneering the West" analogy before it does any more damage to the cause. While we're at it, let's retire the word "colonization," which carries a permanent stain, and talk instead about the "cultivation" or "animation" or "peopling" of Mars. I know that some of you Mars hounds will dismiss the above as a bunch of PC nonsense. Fine, but it's your movement that is not yet taking the world by storm.

Some extremists have even proposed that we "claim" Mars for the United States, although there is a U.N. (remember them?) treaty that expressly forbids this. Many others have been engaged, at Mars Society conventions, in thoughtful discussions about what kind of governing constitution would be appropriate for the first settlements beyond the Earth.

Is Mars ours for the taking? Do we have a right to it? Not to be too Clintonian, but the answer may depend on what we mean by "we." Mars does not belong to "America," nor to Earth, nor to human beings. But if by "we," we mean "life," then yes, Mars belongs to us because this universe belongs to life. I mean, without us, what's the point? But before we go there and set up greenhouses, dance clubs, and falafel stands, let's make sure that, in some subtle form that could be harmed by the human hubbub, life does not already exist there. If not, then by all means build cities, plant forests and fill lakes and streams with trout—bring life to Mars and Mars to life. We'll then be the Martians we've been dreaming about for all these years.
http://slate.msn.com/id/2093579/
 

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A number of odd and bizarrly arrogant opinions in that article. None more so than the author's closing remarks.
Emperor said:
Is Mars ours for the taking? Do we have a right to it? Not to be too Clintonian, but the answer may depend on what we mean by "we." Mars does not belong to "America," nor to Earth, nor to human beings. But if by "we," we mean "life," then yes, Mars belongs to us because this universe belongs to life. I mean, without us, what's the point? But before we go there and set up greenhouses, dance clubs, and falafel stands, let's make sure that, in some subtle form that could be harmed by the human hubbub, life does not already exist there. If not, then by all means build cities, plant forests and fill lakes and streams with trout—bring life to Mars and Mars to life. We'll then be the Martians we've been dreaming about for all these years.
Pretty rich coming from someone who admits we don't even have a working definition of life. (I'm reading his book, Lonely Planets at the moment.)

Also this "the universe belongs to life" nonsense. How can we say that, if we don't even know how common life is? There's a stronger argument that the universe belongs to high-energy plasmas. We at least know that these turn up all over the place. Or maybe it belongs to the Microwave Background Radiation, as that permeates through the whole universe.

Our only obligations towards Mars are those towards our own conscience. Unfortunately, we've already stuffed up one planet that way, so that doesn't bode well for Mars.
 

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Perhaps one argument in favour of terraforming Mars, is that it will be a global effort, we will have to learn to live together to achieve it.
 
A

Anonymous

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Slap this into another thread if it has already been discussed at length, please Moderators.

One for the science bods, please - no sci-fi please.

Considering current developments in understanding of the closest planets and current technological achievements and assuming an unlimited budget:

- how easy would it be to terraform either of these two planets to make them habitable for human life?

- what would be required and how long would it take?

I remember when I was a kid, there was much talk concerning making Mars habitable. Are we talking pure sci-fi?
 
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Anonymous

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Yes, we have discussed this before; but it is always interesting to hear people' opinions.

Let's talk about Venus, first; this would be almost impossible to terraform using normal methods, it is too hot, and has very slow rotation. So you would need to put up a sunshade between Venus and the Sun, fourteen thousand kilometers in diameter, and use it to regulate the amount of sunlight Venus receives. Then you have to remove quadrillions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere. No easy task.

Mars is much easier, see Zubrin's page here
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~mfogg/zubrin.htm

but it would still take a vast amount of energy to achieve this in the case of Mars; we could provide ten times the population of the Earth a fantastically luxurious life style with the same amount of energy expenditure.


So my conclusion basically is, neither planet will be terraformed until the Earth is practically a paradise...

which may well be never.
 

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Moving in on Mars: Team Envisions Terraformer Transfer Project
By Leonard David April 20th, 2017

Credit: Michael Carroll via Chris McKay





A new plan for the “terraformation” of Mars has been scripted by a research team – a blueprint for the red planet to terraform a site on Mars in 2036.

Called the Lake Matthew Team their Mars Terraformer Transfer (MATT) concept is designed to accelerate Mars exploration, settlement and commercial development.


Mars Terraformer Transfer (MATT) plan makes use of the Shepherd to steer an impactor into Mars.
Credit: Optonicus Corporation

City-region development

“Terraformation need not engineer an entire planetary surface. A city-region is adequate for inhabitation. MATT hits this mark,” explains the group’s website.

Key to the plan are a Shepherd satellite and a small body shepherded for use as an impactor. That impacting body injects heat into Martian bedrock, producing melt water for a lake that persists for thousands of years within the warmed impact zone.

On Mars, the “Omaha Crater” bedrock will remain warm to the touch for thousands of years. ...

http://www.leonarddavid.com/moving-in-on-mars-team-envisions-terraformer-transfer-project/
 

ramonmercado

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Sad news if correct.

SORRY, NERDS: TERRAFORMING MIGHT NOT WORK ON MARS

LISTEN, I GET it. You want to go to Mars. I want to go to Mars. (Sort of.) And the plan—it’s good. A rocket with people. A base on the moon. Then more rockets and more people. Start making fuel on the surface, maybe depot it along the way. An outpost becomes a base becomes a domed city. And then: terraforming.

Bring dead Mars back to life, build it a new atmosphere with whatever’s left in its soil—frozen carbon dioxide, most likely—to up the air pressure, rely on greenhouse warming (you know, like climate change?) to make the place warm enough so frozen water, locked away underground, melts and comes roaring back. Oceans! Air! Maybe breathable, but at least enough so you don’t have to walk around in a spacesuit. Boom (where the value of “boom” = 10,000 years, plus or minus). Up the gravity well we go, and we can get moving on the Earther-Martian Colony Revolution all the hard sci-fi keeps promising.

It ain’t crazypants. The astronomer Carl Sagan, an upright symbol of scientific rectitude, pitched “planetary engineering” in 1971, melting water vapor from Mars’ polar ice to create “much more clement conditions.” Twenty years later, the astrobiologist Christopher McKay rounded the idea out, suggesting that terraforming of Mars was possible as long as the planet still had enough carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen squirreled away to volatilize and pump into the atmosphere.

But a couple of scientists who study Mars are trying to burst that hermetically-sealed, oxygen-recirculating, radiation-shielded bubble. If a new analysis is correct, conditions on Mars make it impossible for existing technology to turn it into a garden of Earth-like delights.

https://www.wired.com/story/co2-terraforming-mars/
 

Mythopoeika

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Sad news if correct.

SORRY, NERDS: TERRAFORMING MIGHT NOT WORK ON MARS

LISTEN, I GET it. You want to go to Mars. I want to go to Mars. (Sort of.) And the plan—it’s good. A rocket with people. A base on the moon. Then more rockets and more people. Start making fuel on the surface, maybe depot it along the way. An outpost becomes a base becomes a domed city. And then: terraforming.

Bring dead Mars back to life, build it a new atmosphere with whatever’s left in its soil—frozen carbon dioxide, most likely—to up the air pressure, rely on greenhouse warming (you know, like climate change?) to make the place warm enough so frozen water, locked away underground, melts and comes roaring back. Oceans! Air! Maybe breathable, but at least enough so you don’t have to walk around in a spacesuit. Boom (where the value of “boom” = 10,000 years, plus or minus). Up the gravity well we go, and we can get moving on the Earther-Martian Colony Revolution all the hard sci-fi keeps promising.

It ain’t crazypants. The astronomer Carl Sagan, an upright symbol of scientific rectitude, pitched “planetary engineering” in 1971, melting water vapor from Mars’ polar ice to create “much more clement conditions.” Twenty years later, the astrobiologist Christopher McKay rounded the idea out, suggesting that terraforming of Mars was possible as long as the planet still had enough carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen squirreled away to volatilize and pump into the atmosphere.

But a couple of scientists who study Mars are trying to burst that hermetically-sealed, oxygen-recirculating, radiation-shielded bubble. If a new analysis is correct, conditions on Mars make it impossible for existing technology to turn it into a garden of Earth-like delights.

https://www.wired.com/story/co2-terraforming-mars/
Terraforming probably wouldn't have been feasible anyway, even if the conditions were just right - because of the sheer amount of time it would take. Nothing wrong with building a whole load of underground cities, though. A bit like the scenario depicted in Total Recall.
 

AlchoPwn

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Terraforming probably wouldn't have been feasible anyway, even if the conditions were just right - because of the sheer amount of time it would take. Nothing wrong with building a whole load of underground cities, though. A bit like the scenario depicted in Total Recall.
Well, we have an entire asteroid belt of raw materials to work with. A sky full of dirty snowballs (not sex slang, well, it is, https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dirty Snowball but I don't mean it as such, but rather as a reference to comets https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Comet, but more in the astronomical sense https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet).
 

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... Also, while the wind on Mars is fast, the atmosphere is very thin I believe 1% that of sea level Earth. ... This could work if the elements were then being used to sublimate solid CO2 into the atmosphere, because here you are adding (actually reducing loss, but it is the same thing) energy to the system. ...
It is ... a good idea to thicken up the atmosphere a bit first, and water vapour might work - that acts as a greenhouse gas - so dump a small asteroid on the ice cap, causing it to partly vapourise, and thicken up the atmosphere ...
Elon Musk has been promoting a faster way to thicken Mars' atmosphere with CO2 - nukes. That's right - Elon Musk wants to nuke Mars ...
Elon Musk Wants to Drop Nuclear Bombs on Mars

16 AUG 2019
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, still wants to drop nuclear bombs on Mars to transform it into a livable planet for humans — as evidenced by his latest tweet on Friday morning.

Nuke Mars!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 16, 2019
Musk believes that by hitting Mars with nuclear weapons, the planet's polar ice caps could melt and release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which would essentially create a greenhouse effect that raises the temperature and air pressure of the planet — like a really quick version of climate change.

Musk has shared this opinion for years, dating back to interviews with the billionaire from 2015. ...
FULL STORY (With Video Link): https://www.sciencealert.com/elon-m...nuclear-bombs-on-mars-so-he-s-making-t-shirts
 

EnolaGaia

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Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that this will work - at least not soon, and probably not sufficiently ...

Sorry, Elon Musk: NASA says plans to terraform Mars won't work

Making Mars habitable has been a staple of science fiction, which is where scientists say it will have to stay.

JULY 30, 2018 4:28 PM PDT

... SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk famously told late night host Stephen Colbert of his hope to use thermonuclear explosions to jump-start the creation of a Martian atmosphere that might support life. But new research backed by NASA finds that even nuking the Red Planet won't be enough to convert it into another Earth.

The basic idea behind making Mars habitable, also known as "terraforming," is to release enough of the carbon dioxide trapped in the planet's surface to thicken the atmosphere, heating up the planet enough to keep water in a liquid state. It's literally the same greenhouse effect that is also driving climate change on our planet right now.

"Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) are the only greenhouse gases that are likely to be present on Mars in sufficient abundance to provide any significant greenhouse warming," said Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado, Boulder, in a release. ...

Jakosky is lead author of a new study published on Monday in Nature Astronomy that concludes there just isn't enough of those gases trapped at Mars to get the job done. The atmospheric pressure on Mars is less than one percent that of Earth's, which is likely what would be needed to raise temperatures enough for stable liquid water.

Even if Musk were able to melt the polar ice caps with nuclear technology, the new research says they would only release enough CO2 to bring the atmospheric pressure to 1.2 percent of Earth's.

"In addition, most of the CO2 gas is not accessible and could not be readily mobilized. As a result, terraforming Mars is not possible using present-day technology," said Jakosky. ...

The analysis shows that even going through an energy-intensive process of CO2 extraction from the planet's dust, soils and minerals still only gets the atmosphere to about 5 percent of where it needs to be. ...
SOURCE: https://www.cnet.com/news/sorry-elon-musk-nasa-says-plans-to-terraform-mars-wont-work/
 

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Here's the July 2018 NASA release explaining why simply nuking Mars isn't likely to cause the desired changes in its atmosphere.

July 30, 2018
RELEASE 18-13
Mars Terraforming Not Possible Using Present-Day Technology

Science fiction writers have long featured terraforming, the process of creating an Earth-like or habitable environment on another planet, in their stories. Scientists themselves have proposed terraforming to enable the long-term colonization of Mars. A solution common to both groups is to release carbon dioxide gas trapped in the Martian surface to thicken the atmosphere and act as a blanket to warm the planet.

However, Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be put back into the atmosphere to warm Mars, according to a new NASA-sponsored study. Transforming the inhospitable Martian environment into a place astronauts could explore without life support is not possible without technology well beyond today’s capabilities. ...
FULL STORY (With Infographic): https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2018/mars-terraforming
 

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Here's the abstract of the Jakosky & Edwards article in Nature Astronomy (cited in the cnet.com item above).
Inventory of CO2 available for terraforming Mars
Bruce M. Jakosky & Christopher S. Edwards

Nature Astronomy volume 2, pages 634–639 (2018)

Abstract

We revisit the idea of ‘terraforming’ Mars — changing its environment to be more Earth-like in a way that would allow terrestrial life (possibly including humans) to survive without the need for life-support systems — in the context of what we know about Mars today. We want to answer the question of whether it is possible to mobilize gases present on Mars today in non-atmospheric reservoirs by emplacing them into the atmosphere, and increase the pressure and temperature so that plants or humans could survive at the surface. We ask whether this can be achieved considering realistic estimates of available volatiles, without the use of new technology that is well beyond today’s capability. Recent observations have been made of the loss of Mars’s atmosphere to space by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission probe and the Mars Express spacecraft, along with analyses of the abundance of carbon-bearing minerals and the occurrence of CO2 in polar ice from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. These results suggest that there is not enough CO2 remaining on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming were the gas to be emplaced into the atmosphere; in addition, most of the CO2 gas in these reservoirs is not accessible and thus cannot be readily mobilized. As a result, we conclude that terraforming Mars is not possible using present-day technology.
SOURCE: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-018-0529-6
 

eburacum

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The smart method to terraform Mars would be to redirect objects from the outer solar system towards the surface. These objects would fall with much greater impact force that would be obtained by simply using nukes on the planet directly; instead you use the nukes to steer the objects past Neptune and Uranus into a collision course with Mars. Because these objects are fairly loosely bound to their orbits, they would be relatively easy to redirect.

Robert Zubrin (who devised this strategy) assumed that there would be a lot of CO2 on Mars' surface already, but this seems not to be the case. So CO2 would need to be imported as well, making the whole process a lot harder and longer.
 

ramonmercado

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This doctor has a unique approach to terraformnig Mars. Vid at link.

Hampshire doctor claims Mars ownership using lasers


A Hampshire GP is laying claim to land on Mars by using high-powered lasers to "terraform" the red planet. Phil Davies has been trying for more than a decade to highlight the "terrible plight" of the 43-year-old Outer Space Treaty.

He now leads a global campaign to own part of the planet, in a bid to force the UN to update its rules. His laser releases microscopic carbon dioxide molecules, which changes the atmosphere and potentially allows him to claim land on Mars.

Video Journalist: Ben Moore

Published 13 hours ago

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-hampshire-54930207
 

Mythopoeika

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I did wonder why there was global warming on Mars! It's this man's fault.
 
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