Terraforming Mars And Venus

A

Anonymous

Guest
#1
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

Guest
#2
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
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#3
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

Devoted Cultist
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
137
Likes
2
Points
49
#4
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

Guest
#5
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
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#6
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?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#7
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.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
12,500
Likes
14,075
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#8
... 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

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
12,500
Likes
14,075
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#9
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/
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
12,500
Likes
14,075
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#10
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
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
12,500
Likes
14,075
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#11
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

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
3,221
Likes
1,169
Points
169
#12
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.
 
Top