TheGuyNamedAlan

Mars 'impossible" to terraform

Can Mars be terraformed?  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Can Mars be terraformed?

    • Yes
      17
    • No
      17
    • It's Elon so anything is possible
      9


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3 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Well, Mars has water.

A worse statement than "well, the Antarctic have water".

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3 hours ago, MDZhB said:

So, I know this discussion is about terraforming Mars and all, but what's the deal with wanting to live on that rock anyway? Like Green Baron said on page 1, the soil is poisonous, there's nothing to eat, drink, or breathe, and on top of those things, there is none of the ozone that protects us here on Earth. All things the same, wouldn't it be safer to build space stations in orbit? That would mean no fuel needed for landing/takeoff, no landing legs, no parachutes, no sanitation rooms, etc. And, we could make our own gravity a la 2001. Not to mention that there would basically be no size restraint. I think the only hazard that we would be more likely to encounter in orbit as opposed to the surface would be micrometeorites, but we already have experience with that. Given enough time, we could even add radiation shielding (or even create some from dirt brought up from below)

Mars is not just "That rock". Aside from the Moon, it'd be an excellent stepping stone out to the rest of the solar system. A lot of people here are advocates for space habitats, but I think the public will likely react better to boots on the ground instead. At least at first. (And publicity may be one important factor in the early days of space colonization. Look at how interconnected we are today, and how public perception can spread). It also has a load of raw resources and plenty of water ice, perfect for developing another industrial civilization without relying on resources from Earth after a while.

There's also plenty of research opportunities. Right now, we're limited by how much we can send to Mars to study it. If we have people and manufacturing capabilities on Mars, we could build what we need and want on site, without worrying about time, or distance. We also wouldn't be limited by size, so we could get some large-scale scientific operations going. We haven't been able to get a deep in-depth look under the surface yet for example.

Plenty of people want to live on Mars. The Mars-One project (Which, for the moment, let's ignore the feasibility), had over 200,000 people signing up. That's pretty significant regardless of your views on the project itself. And SpaceX's BFR is supposed to be economical enough to allow anyone willing to save up to go. To the point it'll cost the same of a moderately sized house, or luxury car (And since it'd be to colonize, you wouldn't need anything on Earth anymore, so you can sell it). That would open Mars up to millions of people. Not all will go, but enough would want to. It may not actually reach that low of a price, but it should be low enough many will have the option open to them.

As for radiation, you could create bricks out of the Martian regolith to protect you from it. And put your water in the walls between you and the outer hull for even more protection. After a while, you could even add a magnetic field generator powered by solar panels to provide even more protection on top of that.

And because Mars was much more habitable in the past, we may be able to bring that back eventually. Mars is the perfect place to make more Earthlike (Venus would probably be better due to its size, but it's a lot harder to reduce an atmosphere and lower the temperature), so colonizing would give us the incentive to terraform it.

Is there a profit to be made? Maybe, but probably not a permanent one. Is it worth it when we have all these other issues on Earth? A lot would say no, but the amount actually being spent would be smaller than what's spent already on dealing with those issues. So there's nothing saying we can't get both at once, or that we have to prioritize it.

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10 hours ago, MDZhB said:

the soil is poisonous

If vaporize the Earth ocean, the residual ground will be poisonous, too.

If pour on Mars a lot of water and solve all its chlorine compounds, we'll probably get something like salty oceanic water like on the Earth.

If there will be too much water for Mars. we can pour the excessive salty water from Mars to, say, terraformed Venus, which lacks its own water.
Adding even more water from icy moons and comets/asteroids.

So, if teleportally connect all planets into a RAID array with shared volume, we'll get same air and ocean composition everywhere and same air pressure.
Though a little different temperature.(like we already have on Earth) because Venus and Mercury will be still closer to the Sun than Pluto.

Edited by kerbiloid

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Mars is a deadly place that is impossible to terraform receive enough CO2 for an atmosphere with enough pressure to rise temperature above water freezing. Apart from being poisonous, irradiated, having almost no atmosphere, the fact that CO2 can't be breathed, etc. pp. There is no restaurant, no Supermarket, no Wifi and anyway all the stuff needed to fill these things :-) So far the facts.

5 hours ago, Spaceception said:

And because Mars was much more habitable in the past, we may be able to bring that back eventually. Mars is the perfect place to make more Earthlike (Venus would probably be better due to its size, but it's a lot harder to reduce an atmosphere and lower the temperature), so colonizing would give us the incentive to terraform it.

Well, "was much more habitable" brings up the wrong picture imo, it is supposed having had the preconditions for microbial life in the first few hundred millions of years, similar to those on earth. But not at all "habitable". Anyway, evidence is lacking until now.

1 minute ago, kerbiloid said:

If vaporize the Earth ocean, the residual ground will be poisonous, too.

And then it'll be declared uninhabitable ;-)

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8 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

Mars is a deadly place that is impossible to terraform receive enough CO2 for an atmosphere with enough pressure to rise temperature above water freezing.

Unless you deliver it from another place, say from Venus which has excess of it.

8 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

And then it'll be declared uninhabitable ;-)

And that's why we won't do this.

8 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

Apart from being poisonous, irradiated, having almost no atmosphere, the fact that CO2 can't be breathed, etc. pp.

Until we deliver enough HCON from another place and make an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere with water ocean. Like here, on Earth.

8 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

There is no restaurant, no Supermarket, no Wifi and anyway all the stuff needed to fill these things :-)

Once you have air, water, and a direct gateway for rovers, they will quickly appear.

So, teleportals are the key to the terraforming.

Upd.
A lot of good things in wrong places. 
We just have to redistribute them a little.

Spoiler

Cm8jlXJUEAAl61-.jpg

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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This anyway won't happen in 100-200 years and before some slow rocket expeditions to the closest stars and founding there a fizzixx lab which will enormously expand the human sci&tech (experiments with 4 ly long base).

So, by the time of the terraforming probably teleportation will be more or less studied.

If not - well, no possible ways for terraforming at all.

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The reason we interested in Mars is mainly because of mistranslation of notes made by early astronomer. In the late 19th century, astronomer Giovanni Schiapparelli observed what appeared to be water channels on Mars (Probably the Valles Marineris). When his writings were translated into English, the Italian word "canali" was misleadingly translated as "canals". For decades afterwards, it was widely believed that these had been built by intelligent aliens. Predictably, Martians featured in a large amount of Science Fictionof the first half of the 20th century. However, when NASA's Mariner 4 probe flew past Mars in 1965, it was conclusively shown that the canals didn't actually exist. When the Viking probes landed (the Soviets got there first with Mars 3, but the lander was taken out by a dust storm 14.5 seconds after landing), the planet was shown to be lifeless, and the concept of Martians quickly became discredited. More recent observations suggest that Mars may have supported life in the distant past, and some people still cling to hope that life may reside underground, no matter how unlikely it is. However, the red planet has had such a hold on human imagination for so long that it is not going to be lost as a setting any time soon.

Mars regained its prominence in human imagination in 1976 when the Viking 1 probe reached the planet; equipped with more advanced technology, it was able to take a number of impressively high resolution photographs. One of these showed what appears to be a human face. Though quickly debunked by every legitimate authority, it has taken its place alongside the Nazca lines and the Pyramids of Giza in conspiracy lore — especially as one of the photographs from the mission has yet to be declassified. Fictional representations of Mars were changed as well; no longer a destination, but a stepping-stone to greater glories in the form of ancient ruins filled with Lost Technology, waiting for humanity to discover it and thereby leapfrog into the stars. One way or another, that particular argument will remain unsettled until people actually go there unregulated.

More modern stories tend to have Mars being colonized, either as a plot point or part of the Back Story. This isn't an unlikely scenario in real life; it has more of the basic elements needed for life than any other non-Earth world in the solar system and it's quite similar to Earth in several aspects, including day length (24h 39m 35.244s), temperature (-2 to -87 °C, chilly, but overlaps a fair amount with Earth, albeit the coldest parts of Earth), and an atmosphere (although Martian "air" is mostly carbon dioxide and averages about 1/100th of the Earth's pressure). It's also our neighbor along with Venus (which we have yet to keep a probe functioning on for more than a few minutes). For these reasons, Mars is the planet that is most frequently subject to Terraforming. Strangely, regardless of how otherwise Earth-like it may be, Mars tends to retain its distinct red soil. The weak gravity and thin atmosphere also means that dust storms go crazy on Mars. Every so often, a gigantic dust storm will cover the entire planet in a thick cloud of particles.

Because the Martian day is almost, but not quite, the same length as Earth's day, NASA scientists working on Mars missions reckon the local time there by "sols" (Martial solar days). There's no special name for the Martian year, however. Despite its many Earthlike qualities, Mars is nowhere near as big as the Earth. It's only half the Earth's diameter, and has only 38% of Earth's surface gravity. The reason for this is that when Jupiter migrated inward towards the Sun, it robbed Mars of material to form with; scientists believe that had Jupiter not drifted inward, Mars would have been the same size as Earth and Venus. The total surface area of Mars is about equal to the land surface area of the Earth (i.e. that small portion of the Earth's surface that isn't under water). Nevertheless, Mars has a canyon (Mariner Canyon) that's far, far larger than Earth's Grand Canyon, and a volcano (Olympus Mons) that's far, far larger than Earth's Mount Everest. Unlike Everest or most other large mountains on Earth, Olympus Mons is not steep at all. On the contrary, it rises so gradually that in terms of land area it's roughly the size of France, and a person standing at the base of Olympus Mons would be unable to see its summit because it would actually be over the horizon. Olympus Mons and Mariner Canyon both lie on a region called the Tharsis Bulge, essentially a seven kilometer high (that's before adding the altitude of the volcanoes) bump on the planet's surface caused by a massive upward magma flow beneath that entire area. Olympus Mons is the largest of many volcanoes sitting on the bulge. When these volcanoes were being formed, the pressure caused by the upward magma flow caused a part of the crust to split open, creating the Mariner Canyon. Depending on how the boundary of the Tharsis Bulge is defined, it covers up to twenty-five percent of Mars's surface area.

One unusual feature of Mars is that its northern and southern hemispheres are so dramatically different in geography. The northern hemisphere is largely smooth (and it is theorized that much of it was once covered in water), while the southern hemisphere has very rough, cratered ground that averages 1–3 kilometers higher in elevation. Given the sheer improbability that asteroids and meteors would only strike half of a planet, astronomers have been trying to figure out why this would be the case ever since detailed photographs of Mars first became available. In the last decade, study of the northern hemisphere has indicated that a single massive impact by an object about 2/3rd the size of Earth's moon may have wiped away all smaller craters and other irregularities on the northern hemisphere. The signs of this enormous crater, bigger than the next four largest in the solar system combined and covering some 40% of Mars' surface, were obscured by over a billion years of volcanic eruptions along its rim. It has been argued that the difference in cratering is because Mars once had a shallow ocean covering most of its northern hemisphere. While there is no evidence to disprove this claim, there is also no conclusive evidence for it either.

The most damaging is that Mars has a core that's dead, with no tectonic activity at all, so there's no magnetic field to keep the solar wind from keeping the planet more or less sterile. Although science holds out hope that they will one day discover evidence that life once existed on Mars, there's very little hope they will find life living there now. Worse than that, the Martian soil is now known to be extremely rich in hexavalent chromium (known for short as HexChrome), one of the most potent carcinogens known to man. Today, the moons Europa and Enceladus are considered more likely to currently harbor life, both having verified subterranean liquid water and the protection of their respective home planets' magnetic fields. (Europa's surface ice is also a protective barrier from Jupiter's latent radiation.) While in 2015 it was finally verified that there is indeed liquid water on the surface of Mars, the lack of a magnetic field and toxic soil would still be severe obstacles to life.

Edited by ARS
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Spoiler

Karte_Mars_Schiaparelli_MKL1888.pngaHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kv

So, Curiosity, Viking2, and Spirit are somewhere in Elysium,
Opportunity — south of Eden,
Pathfinder and Viking 1 - on Chryse,

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4 hours ago, Green Baron said:

Well, "was much more habitable" brings up the wrong picture imo, it is supposed having had the preconditions for microbial life in the first few hundred millions of years, similar to those on earth. But not at all "habitable". Anyway, evidence is lacking until now.

2

Yeah, but still, liquid water, thicker atmosphere, cool/temperate temperatures, sounds fairly habitable to me, at least in the base sense. If Mars was like that today, we'd probably be tripping over ourselves to settle it.

Edited by Spaceception

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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

Yeah, but still, liquid water, thicker atmosphere, cool/temperate temperatures, sounds fairly habitable to me, at least in the base sense. If Mars was like that today, we'd probably be tripping over ourselves to settle it.

Question of definitions here maybe. I always have my problems with the term "habitability" because it sounds colourful like in "I'm shopping, darling. Back in an hour !" :-) It is not a term that describes any hard fact and everybody has its own fantasies or imagination connected with it. In a basic sense habitability could just mean "may have liquid water somewhere", but that alone really means nothing at all e.g. if radiation cancels any attempt of chemistry to organize itself.

We don't know what the early atmospheres of either earth or mars looked like in detail (CO2, H2O, H2S, these things, maybe thinner, maybe thicker than today). The early atmosphere came from outgasing of the soft and warm upper mantle (which makes it questionable if there were any gases during and directly after formation). The question about life on mars depends on David Bowie the assumption that things there work the same way as on earth. We can ask if there was enough time - let's say ~400my if we take earth's shortest debated path to early life - or if processes of removal were too fast, and we can wait until we get a positive result from exploration.

I think we all agree that the conditions may have been conducive for the development of early microbial life, until water and atmosphere were lost (water apparently seemingly maybe partly drawn into the mantle). Anyway, this thread has presented a work that concluded that there is not enough CO2 left to do anything meaningful with it.

Edited by Green Baron
4.6 - 4.2 = 0.4
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Primary atmosphere should be a polluted nitrogen, as ammonia from the dirty snowflakes is much more volatile than water and carbon dioxide, so should be evaporating first, during the planet formation.

So close to Sun this ammonia should be splitted by UV, hydrogen dissipate, nitrogen stay around the Earth.

Edited by kerbiloid

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Very early a. is thought having been composed of H2 and He (how comes ? :-)) for a short time, no traces afaik, secondary by outgasing, which added N, yep.

http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfjps/1400/atmos_origin.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2719

and

https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2271

even connecting N in the atmosphere to plate tectonics. Interesting ...

(I have too much time :-))

Edited by Green Baron
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In case if lightweight H and He were not blown away so close to the Sun before the snowflakes had sticked to a planet.

Though some hydrogen admixture was present anyway because of ammonia splitting.

Edited by kerbiloid

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They probably were. Anyway primordial atmosphere is a play of thoughts, if i am not mistaken. Which might well be the case :-)

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