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Author Topic: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?  (Read 2372 times)

Offline thedoc

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Glenn asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Chris n Crew,

Still enjoying your show after all these years!

As far as Tera Forming Mars goes, I think no doubt in time our species will have the capability to TF Mars.

However, with out a second thought,

I truly believe until we as a species can treat every living thing on Earth with respect and learn how to care for and preserve planet Earth's future, we have no business raping Mars or any other planet or moon.

Aloha from the Pocono Mts. of Pennsylvania, USA,

Glennnnnnnnn

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/08/2012 16:34:26 by BenV »


 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?
« Reply #1 on: 31/07/2012 20:30:17 »
The money cannot be found for a lookout for Earth colliding asteroids, where is it to come from for vastly more exspencive schemes like terraforming planets, only less than 50% of attemps to land on mars work !
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2012 10:54:41 »
Glenn Ryerson  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I truly believe until we as a species can treat every living thing on Earth with respect and learn how to care for and preserve planet Earth's future.....

What do you think?

I wish I had your confidence, sadly I think we, as a species, will continue to use our planet to our 'advantage' at the expense of all others. A practice which will backfire in the end.


.....we have no business raping Mars or any other planet or moon.


I agree with you there. Since we cannot treat our own planet with respect, we should keep our noses out of the business of other planets, until we have learnt to treat this planet with respect. Given what I wrote above, that will be never.

...... where is it to come from for vastly more exspencive schemes like terraforming planets.......

Where there is a profit to be made......

But hopefully, you are right, it will be too great an outlay in the first instance.
 

Offline Cadra510A

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Re: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?
« Reply #3 on: 02/08/2012 13:19:08 »
Sadly, in the free portion of our planet, we still choose our management - leaders by popularity, power and or wealth, not by their capabilities and integrity.

I believe this being the case seems to be keeping our species hog tied as far as planet earth's lasting future.......
 

Offline simplified

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Re: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/2012 15:27:57 »
Big war can exterminate many kinds.Therefore strong countries should show the military superiority outside of the Earth. :P
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?
« Reply #5 on: 10/08/2012 06:57:58 »
I'm not convinced that it will in fact be possible to "terraform" Mars.

I suppose it depends on how one defines terraforming.  In the strictest sense, it means making a planet "earth-like". 

Mars has about 1/10 the mass of Earth, and about 1/3 the surface gravity of Earth.  If we were able to add the mass of every planet, asteroid, and moon that is smaller than Mars to Mars, we would still end up with significantly less than the mass of Earth.

The atmospheric pressure on Mars is about 600 to 1155 pascals  (0.006 to 0.011 ATM).  I'm not convinced that the planet would in fact be capable of supporting an atmosphere that was at least half of Earth's atmosphere, or about 0.5 ATM.

The "Armstrong Limit" is actually quite low, at 0.0618 ATM, which is the pressure at which water boils at human body temperature.  Yet, it is still 10x the average atmospheric pressure on Mars.

Terraforming Mars would take trillions or quadrillions of tons of atmospheric gases.  Some of the gases could be created from oxidized rocks.  However, it would be a loosing battle if those gases were lost in space.

Now, colonizing a planet such as Mars would be a different story altogether.  I would imagine sometime in the next 50 years, we will in fact send humans to Mars.  Will we choose volunteers for a one-way trip to Mars as long-term colonists?  Theoretically, I would go.  In practice, I don't know. 

One thing that will happen if we choose to colonize the moon, or Mars will be that we will practice an extreme form of recycling, at least for valuable resources such as water, hydrocarbons, oxygen, and the stuff needed to sustain life.

I find it doubtful that it will be economically viable to create automated space mining equipment designed to return precious metals or minerals to Earth.  The one exception might be mining our Moon, Mercury, or Jupiter for Helium-3 (3He), if it is ever needed for nuclear fuel.  Personally I think one should generate a policy in which for the most part, Space resources are left in space. 

If occupied mining colonies are sent to Mars, I would imagine that within a century or so, they would find that they were self-sufficient, and not needing anything more from Earth.  At which point there would be a rebellion to stop the export of raw materials from Mars (somewhat like those pesky Americans did a couple of centuries ago with the British).

Transporting a person to Mars will likely take more resources than a person would use in their lifetime, and would not be a viable method to preserve Earth resources.  Strict birth control would be a much better method of preserving Earth resources than exporting people to marginal planets.

I believe our Moon will be colonized for several reasons. 
  • Curiosity,
  • Astronomy (imagine huge lunar based optical and radio telescopes), with no atmospheric interference or optical/radio pollution from Earth.  At 1/6 the gravity, the directional orienting of large lunar telescopes would be easier than on Earth.
  • The building of space ships, devices, and components.  While the infrastructure would have to be created from scratch, the launch cost from the moon would be so much cheaper than from Earth, that many of the components might naturally be built on the moon.
  • Large space ships, might, however, be assembled, fueled, and crewed in an Earth/Moon Lagrangian point, of both terrestrial and lunar components.
Mars, with a little over twice the gravity of our moon, and more of a climate with a form of an ice cap would have many benefits over the moon for colonization.  And, may have some benefits for first-person scientific exploration.  But the added distance may make it less practical for a "base".  And, it would even be problematic to ship satellite components from Mars back to Earth.

Venus is often ignored, but may in fact be the only planet in our solar system that could be truly "terraformed".  It's mass is 0.815 that of Earth, and it has gravity nearly the same as our own.  Theoretically planetary sunshades could be built.  It may have a hydrogen deficit which may be a problem, but perhaps not insurmountable.  To truly make an Earth clone might take thousands of years and generations of commitment.  But, the result could be truly Earth 2.0.  That is if there isn't a squabble about sky colonies vs ground colonies which might be mutually exclusive.

Anyway, I would not consider Space as providing resources for Earth.  Although, technology such as planetary sunshades for Venus, or planetary solar mirrors for Mars might benefit Earth in the long run.  And Lunar colonies will certainly complement Earth.  But, you are right that we need to preserve Earth resources on Earth as we've been provided with ONE PLANET to serve our needs for now, and forever.
 

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Re: Should we treat Earth better before we terraform Mars?
« Reply #5 on: 10/08/2012 06:57:58 »

 

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