The Sun's Shadow

Stumbling to find a light switch in the dark

Time to Terraform Mars

Should the next mission to Mars include seed packets? The analysis of the soil from the phoenix lander showed it has the nutrients to grow plants

“We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past, present or future,” said Samuel P. Kounaves of Tufts University, who is leading the chemical analysis, during a telephone news conference on Thursday. “The sort of soil you have there is the type of soil you’d probably have in your backyard.”

Its like the soil in the back yard… well how do you do! We need to take Mars from red and make it green! Unfortunately even though the soil may have nutrients that could support plant life the rest of the planet is not so hospitable to life…

Mars today is cold and dry, and the surface is bombarded by ultraviolet radiation, making life unlikely, but conditions could have made the planet more habitable in the past.

There is hope because as they note life is unlikely but not impossible, it may have existed earlier in martian history and maybe with our intervention if can exist again in its future… The biggest issues is that Mars is a dead planet and what I mean by that is it has a solid iron core that has cooled and hardened, unlike the earth with a molten iron core. Mars could still be in the so called “goldilocks zone” as it has the conditions that could potentially support life. The problem is since the core is cold, there is no magnetic field to protect the planet which left it at the mercy of the solar wind the UV radiation. The magnetic field for Earth for comparison is generated by our molten iron core, which because of the size of the planet creates the internal pressure and heat to keep the core molten(note massive over simplification)… Mars was not so lucky it only has one tenth the density the of Earth does and half our equitoral diameter. Basically due to its small size the planet cooled too rapidly. 

How can we then terraform the planet, is it even possible on a theoretical level? Here are just some un-supported idea’s in the big sense not a practical one.

  • Total Recall type reaction to reactivate the core of Mars
  • Restore the magnetic field
  • Plant, Plant, Plant, Plant….

I know right now this is more science fiction than anything especially since my basis is a 1990 Sci-Fi classic, but just imagine if we could bring Mars back what it would be like to be able to go and walk about an alien world, and that world would be within our reach, not across the stars light years away but the very next planet in the solar system.

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June 27, 2008 - Posted by | Astronomy, Sci-Fi, Science | , ,

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