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Author Topic: Making Mars like Earth?  (Read 4587 times)

Offline DocN

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Making Mars like Earth?
« on: 23/03/2006 16:35:34 »
Big discussion in science: Could we make Mars like Earth?  Some believe that if we cultivate massive plant growth on Mars it would result in the beginning of a Mars' type greenhouse effect, melting the frost pockets there, and producing rivers and clouds. Easier said than done?
Doc


 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2006 16:48:48 »
I think its all down to the core. I donít think I would be possible to create a sustained environment without an active core but who am I to say.

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another_someone

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2006 18:29:23 »
Outgassing from the core is certainly important, as would substantial heat from the core, but so would having a larger gravitational field that could hold in more of the atmosphere.

Yes, the atmosphere of Mars is mostly CO2 (it does seem strange that people might suggest that growing plants, and thus removing CO2 from the atmosphere and converting it to O2 would actually create a greenhouse effect, while the arguments on Earth are that it is the conversion of O2 to CO2 that is creating the greenhouse effect), but the other problem is that there is simply not enough atmosphere of any kind (it is substantially less dense than the atmosphere on Earth), so even if it was converted to O2.  If all the CO2 on Mars was converted to O2, it would still only amount to 1/20th of the amount of O2 we have on this planet (and, there is interestingly, very little nitrogen in the Martian atmosphere).

Ofcourse, the interesting question is, if we could convert the CO2 on Venus to O2, could we shut down the greenhouse effect (although surface temperatures would still be much higher than on Earth, but well below what they are now), although the lack of hydrogen (i.e. water) would still remain a problem.



George
« Last Edit: 23/03/2006 18:45:11 by another_someone »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2006 19:06:53 »
Nope, But I bet you we could make Earth into a Mars

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Offline Hadrian

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #4 on: 23/03/2006 19:53:42 »
A day without radiation is a day without sunshine.
:D

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Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #5 on: 23/03/2006 22:04:09 »
I doubt if mars could be made habitable using mechanical constructions and technology but if a life form could be fostered, particularly if the sun has got a bit warmer than it is today or we engineer a big asteroid collosion  then given a reasonable time it might be possible given a geologically significant time

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Offline DocN

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #6 on: 23/03/2006 22:38:50 »
"There are some radical ideas to boost the atmosphere(of Mars). The extreme ideas even include capturing a comet (made mostly of water ice and silicates) via robotic rockets and steering them into a collision course with Mars! Backers of this say that not only would much of the ice burn off into the atmosphere, making it thicker and adding to the hydrogen and oxygen already present, it would also melt permafrost in the ensuing smash. This at the expense of areological explorations of the entire area. Others propose guiding the comet into a "near-miss" with Mars, thus avoiding the cataclysmic impact a direct hit would create while still retaining the benefits the comet could potentially give."  from--
                                  http://www.redcolony.com/art.php?id=0512020

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another_someone

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #7 on: 24/03/2006 03:07:11 »
All the ideas are far too energy intensive (even redirecting a comet), and far too far away from that which is practical either technically or economically.

Using modified Earth based primitive life, apart from being a very slow process, is highly dubious.  Even if it could endure the thin atmosphere and low temperatures  (which I suspect is doable), the lack of nitrogen and hydrogen is something I cannot see being overcome (excepting by sending millions of tons of nitrogen fertiliser out there Ė which seems to rather defeat the point).

The only scenario I can see as plausible is to create our own crude pseudo-life on Mars.  By this, I mean we design crude micro-machines that are designed to utilise the resources available on Mars (a little bit of sunlight, lots of wind, silicates and ferrous oxides), are capable of a building more of themselves (asexual reproduction), and are designed to build small shelters into which they pump the oxygen residue that is the by-product of reducing the silicates to silicon, and the iron oxides to metallic iron.

Because the machine are small, they will be easy to deliver to Mars, and once a few are in place, they are designed to reproduce themselves, and thus create contained environments which we could later use for our own habitation.

The important thing is to start small, and don't try and do the whole thing in one giant leap that could never be attainable.



George
« Last Edit: 24/03/2006 03:08:13 by another_someone »
 

Offline suncorpse

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #8 on: 23/04/2006 12:49:02 »
its a awesome topic, to resolve the oxygen requirement on mars what can be done? this is the primary requirement in fixing life forms thereon, then water is needed, if that is there then there will be need of water recycling plant to purify that available water, then plant like crotens ( which can grow in less water) on the surface of the mars. besides there will be a need to install some oxygen houses to maintain the life forms which are to be import from earth.
 

another_someone

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #9 on: 23/04/2006 13:33:11 »
quote:
Originally posted by suncorpse

its a awesome topic, to resolve the oxygen requirement on mars what can be done? this is the primary requirement in fixing life forms thereon, then water is needed, if that is there then there will be need of water recycling plant to purify that available water, then plant like crotens ( which can grow in less water) on the surface of the mars. besides there will be a need to install some oxygen houses to maintain the life forms which are to be import from earth.



Actually, you have this the wrong way around.  Life does not require oxygen, but it does require water.

When life first developed on Earth, there was no oxygen on Earth, just lots of CO2 and lots of water.

It was life that created the oxygen, and when it did first create that oxygen, it was what in modern terms we might regard as pollution (i.e. it was a toxic waste product produced by some life forms, but it killed very many other life forms that were not used to oxygen in the environment).

It is the lack of liquid water, and the very thin atmosphere of any kind, that is the limiting factor of Mars, not the lack of oxygen.



George
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
« Reply #10 on: 23/04/2006 15:42:05 »
Mars couldn't hold onto an atmosphere of any worth due to its low gravity and lack of magnetosphere.

If we could somehow terraform the planet and create an oxygen rich atmosphere the solar wind would blow it away and anything which would be left would be of such a low pressure that it would be totally worthless to us. even liquid water would have difficulty surviving on mars due to the low pressure.

Michael
« Last Edit: 23/04/2006 15:42:33 by ukmicky »
 

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Re: Making Mars like Earth?
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