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Dear forum,I am a screenwriter currently working on a story that takes place in Mars several hundred years after the start of an extensive terraforming program. I turn to you for ideas as to what exactly might terraforming Mars would involve. I welcome your competing ideas regarding how and why this would be possible OR impossible, however coldly realistic or creatively far fetched they might be I am aware of Mars' lack of a molten core and a sizeable moon and of the consequences involved for such a young atmosphere. Obviously, for the story to take place, I make a basic assumption: terraforming Mars with a breathable atmosphere IS possible, even if this means that the slow loss of atmospheric gasses due to low gravity makes the terraforming process necessarily ongoing. Thanks a lot,lungo
There's little point in making the entire atmosphere breathable, any more than we have tried to make the whole surface of the earth like Yorkshire (why Yorkshire? Ask any Yorkshireman!) People only live on a tiny fraction of the dry bit, which itself is only about 25% of the surface, and we are mostly constrained by the need for potable water.
... - for example, we know that there is a layer of frozen water under the red dusty surface of Mars.
Another thought (probably a bad one, but hear me out)Perhaps crashing the two Moons, as well as several asteroids from the asteroid belt, into Mars could help (a little) on several fronts:(1) increased mass-- at 6.4x1023 kg, Mars is only about 11% as massive as the Earth is, . Adding Phobos (1.1x1016 kg), and Deimos (1.5x1015 kg), Ceres, (9.4x1020 kg) and Vesta (2.6x1020 kg)wouldn't make that much of an increase, but it wouldn't hurt either. (in all about a 1% increase in mass...) Collecting the whole asteroid belt could increase the mass by about 3%...(2) increased temperature--the heat released from so many bodies crashing into mars would substantially increase the temperature (possibly too much, I don't know)(3) more water and useful minerals--possibly better to mine the minerals before crashing them into Mars and distributing them across the whole planet, but the water (if it doesn't all vaporize and go into space), could turn into oceans.
About my Martians: What does it mean to belong to a species that originally evolved in a different planet? Is Marsí specific environment, with its lower gravity and thinner atmosphere, taking human evolution on a different path? If so, are they still humans?I welcome speculation on these matters
Solar wind is not the problem. Lack of gravity is. If your atmosphere is at a breathable temperature it will diffuse away into space if not held by sufficient gravitation (or a plastic bubble).
b-water has not only been found but, although frozen, is also plentiful
Quote from: alancalverdSolar wind is not the problem. Lack of gravity is. If your atmosphere is at a breathable temperature it will diffuse away into space if not held by sufficient gravitation (or a plastic bubble). And what would that be for Mars? Consider the fact that Earth has a surface pressure of about 1 bar whereas Venus has a surface pressure of about 92 bars. The mass of Venus is about 80% the mass of Earth. The atmosphere or Venus didn't exactly diffuse away into space.
Quote from: lungo on 06/07/2015 09:22:49About my Martians: What does it mean to belong to a species that originally evolved in a different planet? Is Marsí specific environment, with its lower gravity and thinner atmosphere, taking human evolution on a different path? If so, are they still humans?I welcome speculation on these mattersAlthough this is a physiology question, physics has a big influence.If the air has less oxygen would they develop larger lungs or is it more likely that blood would change as in high altitude peoples on earth.Would they grow taller because of lower gravity, effects on musculature, heart efficiency etcIf the gas mix is different eg Argon as suggested by ChiralSPO then you might get an effect on voice pitch similar to breating high Helium mix when diving.Would the difference in UV have an effect on skin function and colouring etcSee also bone mass as suggested by AlanCalverd
Quote from: lungob-water has not only been found but, although frozen, is also plentifulWhy are you treating this as a fact when at present it is merely speculation? Where did you hear or read that water was found on Mars. All I've seen is observations which might imply that water was there. That's about it.To help in this I just wrote to NASA to find an answer to the question of whether its a fact that there is water on Mars or if its just our best guess at this point.
The comment is absolutely correct, although I will point out that I never called it a fact, merely an assumption that allows me to propel the script forward.
Basic assumptions: a-the terraforming process has led to the creation of a breathable atmosphere that, although thinner than here on Earth, allows atmospheric flight and survival without air domes and/or bubblesb-water has not only been found but, although frozen, is also plentifulc-as pointed out by ...
Mate, the list of bulletpoints rests under a header reading "basic assumptions"
.. but since you make reference to "the context in which I wrote it" please re visit the first post, ..
in which it is clearly explained that the purpose of the original question is to integrate some informed opinions (more informed than my own, ideally) into what is meant to be a sci-fi script about life on Mars after an extensive terraforming effort. Because the success of such effort is the premise of the script and its starting point some basic assumptions are made, such as the one you point out.
Not looking for controversy, ..
We speculate that there's water there. We don't know it for certain.
Presence of shallow subsurface water ice Phoenix mission that there is frozen water near the poles of Mars.But it's hard to be sure with a sample size of 1.
...we know that there is a layer of frozen water under the red dusty surface of Mars.
Going a little off topic.Have you considered items that might be in short supply and change the way Martians live? We use a lot of plastic, but Mars without access to oil (except by expensive import) might need to find alternatives eg plant fibres, casein plastic from milk, etc.I don't know the geological make up of Mars but some minerals will be plentiful and others very rare, this will influence what can be made locally.
Venus doesn't have a magnetic field either (though I suppose its CO2 and SO2 atmosphere is less susceptible to depletion by solar wind...)
its possible to create a sort of massive dome and from the inside of that dome you could create an artificial environment that is suitable for life and maybe an atmosphere ? depends on how you want your story to go but this is just another idea.