How long would it take to terraform Mars?

25 May 2008

Question

How long would it take to terraform Mars?

Answer

It's likely to take hundreds of years, as you've got to change the composition of the atmosphere of a whole planet. You need got to undo the reasons that Mars doesn't have an atmosphere already, which is that it doesn't have a magnetic field. The solar wind has gone past, but there's no magnetic field to deflect it, so much of the atmosphere has been lost. We're still looking at probably 30-50 years before we send a man to Mars, which we will almost certainly need do do before we even think about starting to terraform Mars.

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