How would we terraform mars?

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Keep in mind, I am not a scientist, I am an intrigued 19 year old. My hypothesis is just that… a guess, with a little tiny bit of education on the subject. I want to know how correct I am, and what the real process would involve.

Hypothetically, if we had the resources to do to it, what process would we undertake to terraform mars into a green planet like our own?

My hypothesis:
We would obviously need plants, and the plants would have sunlight and carbon dioxide(95.32% of atmosphere), but would be missing water.

If we had the means to bring tankards of water to mars along with the plants, we could set up a system that would allow the water to run through the plants, and be recollected… dead plants would have all the moisture extracted from them to run through the process again as well. But this process would somehow allow oxygen out.

No heres where my imagination dies, because I don’t know what holds our oxygen in, which may make me an idiot, I don’t know how common knowledge it is. I have surmised that its possibly our layer of Ozone gas?

If thats true, than we would also need to transport great amounts of Ozone gas, because there is barely more Ozone(30 nmol/mol) on the planet than there is Methane(10.5 nmol/mol)!!! And thats really saying something!

If the process could actually be done, we would also need to move some kind of creature there that could breathe in the oxygen and output more carbon dioxide.
But since approx 95% of the atmosphere is already carbon dioxide, we would probably not need them for awhile I surmise.

My resource

 
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Originally posted by alecz127:

Hypothetically, if we had the resources to do to it, what process would we undertake to terraform mars into a green planet like our own?

Water. Lots and lots of water.

And an atmosphere that we can use, as well as change the temperatures on it.

Originally posted by alecz127:

If the process could actually be done, we would also need to move some kind of creature there that could breathe in the oxygen and output more carbon dioxide.

Yeah, that wouldn’t be very hard to find here.

 
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oh man…. how the heck would we change the temperature?
Also, I don’t think we would use humans, would we? I mean sure, maybe a few Nasa scientists to keep watch over things. But I was thinking more like the equivalent of algae except outputting carbon dioxide instead of oxygen.

 
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How would we terraform mars?

A frightening mold maybe?

 
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Originally posted by alecz127:

oh man…. how the heck would we change the temperature?

Well it wouldn’t be much, but re-introducing an atmosphere might help, I mean just look at Venus.

Also, I don’t think we would use humans, would we? I mean sure, maybe a few Nasa scientists to keep watch over things. But I was thinking more like the equivalent of algae except outputting carbon dioxide instead of oxygen.

I have no idea why, but I feel that cockroaches are the answer, mostly because those little fuckers wont stay dead.

 
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i think it would be a bad idea to terraform mars. i mean first of all we have no way to predict how this will play out; like what climates would do; how this would affect the tactonomy of mars (earthquakes, volcanoes) etc.

secondly, Mars’s gravity is one third that of Earth, so it’s atmospheric density would never come close to ours, so i doubt we’d ever be able to walk around without protective clothing anyhow.

plus, who would dare? the slightest accident or miscalculation could cause us all to be poisoned with massive carcinogens or what not.

 
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Well maybe instead of terraforming, establishing a base followed by erecting structures and connecting them would be a good way to start life on Mars. Scientists could work from the newfound colony on starting the terraforming process. This would most likely be a long and dubious task. Even then, I doubt this would be very stable.

Start working on a small level with no variables and scale up the size from there.

 
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yeah, but i think it would be far easyer to create an abundance of micro-climates making it totally unnecessary than to create a full, sustainable, human-suitable, safe and stable atmosphere on such a tiny rocky planet.

 
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I’m a fan of a combination of several ideas.

I am a fan of the violent nuking of ammonia and methane rich asteroids into the planet to create heat, further pressure, and the proper conditions for an atmosphere relatively inexpensively, including buffer gases. Then we create small habitats for plants that don’t need as much mechanics to keep them pressurized for comfort as they would without said atmosphere, allowing us to plant within, and outside of the colonies with plants we already grow today. Venting hydrocarbons from Titan could provide a source of fuel and further strides towards a future habitable Martian atmosphere, along with seeding CDC rockets. I’m a big fan of starting out with robotic colonies until technologies are developed to avoid the whole lack of a magnetosphere.

I think there will probably be better candidates than mars, and that it’s more likely to be a resource stop with small colonies in low-radiation zones. We can use it to grow lots of things and to mine asteroids and its moons. We can use it to launch missions to far off places that have magnetospheres.

I think orbital colonies are probably the most likely non-earthlings, as it’s far easier to deal with simulating gravity than creating an atmosphere.

 
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There is much water ice on Mars already so if you can somehow make some of the ice warm enough to melt (probably underground or under a thick layer of more ice) then you can put maybe algae and other organisms into the water that could possibly turns the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the water into oxygen and help form an atmosphere. If more water is needed, then, if technology and resources permits, we can crash comets (which are partly water ice) into Mars. This could also possibly generate heat. Another problem would be what to dilute the Oxygen with. If we created a breathable atmosphere of almost entirely oxygen, then one spark would ignite the planet. We would need to find large quantities of nitrogen like on Earth (maybe the ammonia?) to release into the atmosphere to make the atmosphere mostly inflammable.

Also Omega, about being poisoned by massive carcinogens, if the terraforming is a failure, we wouldn’t be walking around without spacesuits so that may not be a problem. I do agree that the low gravity could hinder the process of creating a dense enough atmosphere.

Terraforming may not work on Mars, so we should always look for other, better candidates. Maybe if we somehow prove that Faster Than Light speed spaceships are not impossible we could find Earth—like planets among the stars. It is more a hope than anything (but it would be awesome). Otherwise we have hundreds of millions of years to terraform Mars before Earth becomes to hot to live on.

 
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i don’t think mars would be a good escape route to avoid the heating earth. the heating of the earth by the growing sun would be so slow, this just doesn’t make any sense; not unless we attain immortality. plus, Mars is too small.

no i don’t think anyone will ever spend all this money on terraforming Mars so that the people of 129452 generations beyond us can live there. if it be done, it be done in a program that can complete within one lifetime.

 
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The north pole of Mars is mostly dry ice (frozen CO2) and the south pole is mostly frozen water. I think the answer is heat the planet up. Believe it or not, Mars used to be able to sustain life, but its atmosphere slowly floated away (though not entirely), which is happening here on Earth, too. We’re just a bigger planet, thus our atmosphere has been held on better by our gravity.

I say the best place to start would be with pumping in a bunch of ozone to act as a greenhouse gas which warms the poles, releasing water vapor and CO2, two known greenhouse gases, and warming up the planet little by little. I don’t know that this would actually work, nor do I know the amounts of water and CO2 on Mars, but I think that if we could make terraforming a cost effective and useful trade, that’d make Mars a viable test subject.

All things considered I think we should start developing that sort of tech here on Earth with more funding toward ecology.

 
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plant trees and stuff

 
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Mars is too small to maintain a thick atmosphere, so your first step would be increasing the mass significantly. Dropping comets, and large rocks from the belt onto it would be a good start. After that you have the problem of its distance from the sun. The light that reaches Mars is less than a hundredth as strong as that which reaches Earth, so you are going to have to have orbital mirror installations of collossal size to magnify and concentrate the solar radiation.

It would certainly be easier to terraform Venus.

 
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wow, wow. hold on there. if you want to increase it’s mass significantly so it can hold a denser atmosphere, you’re basically talking about smashing so many rocks into it that a large portion of it’s mass is made up of it. this is insanity!!

not only will all the impact craters and impact energy totally revamp the planet, probably to something extremely unstable, but it’s surface would now be made of astroid materials from millions of comets and such.

this would mean it basically becomes an artificial planet built on the base of Mars.

but the biggest problem is that “The total mass of the asteroid belt is estimated to be 2.8×1021 to 3.2×1021 kilograms, which is just 4% of the mass of the Moon.2”. which means 2% of the mass of Mars. which means that even if you clear out the entire belt for this, it wouldn’t make any difference.

It would certainly be easier to terraform Venus.

well actually, Venus has an atmospheric density 90 times that of earth, even though it’s slightly smaller. so i guess it would be easyer to get Mars to have about the same as Earth’s density, than to get Venus down to that.

also Venus is extremely hot.

oh but i did find that, coincidentally, the atmospheric conditions on Venus 50 km above the surface are very earthlike. we should be able to make sky-cities there.

ain’t this thrilling? probably most of our future space colonies would be floating cities.

 
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You still have Mars’ own moons, one of which is on its way down anyway. Just give it a nudge. There are also the rings of Jupiter and Saturn, and the moons of both.

As it is, Mars is useless as a terraform subject. It has to have more mass if it is to hold a breathable atmosphere.

As to the instability, so what? It will calm down in time. You’re looking at something on the order of a hundred thousand years to terraform it anyway. Starting with microbial life, and working on up as the conditions improve.

 
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still insanity vika. stealing moons from Jupiter, bringing them all the way to Mars to crash them there without destroying the planet. this is completely insane. did you take drugs or something?

btw, Jupiter and Saturn’s Moons themselves are probably better candidates for terraforming.

 
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Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons are also too small to terraform. They don’t have the mass to hold onto a thick enough atmosphere, and their parent planets would enact too much of a pull on it anyway. You have the bigger problem that they are even further from the sun. To them, Sol is just a bright star in the sky, so there is nowhere near enough light for photosynthesis to function. No plants means no biosphere.

 
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well anything better than stripping the gas giants of their moons, dragging them all the way through open space to Mars and crashing them without causing huge blocks to chip off.

oh btw, Mars’s moons are mere pebbles. that’s not gonna do anything at all.

and, again, if it’s gonna take 100000 years why would anyone do that? why would we engage such a huge program for something so far into the future, when we could simply wait a few centuries to have the technology to it so much easyer?

like we could simply cover the entire planet with micro-climates. we could create forcefields around ourselves that constantly keep ourselves surrounded by pressurised gas. this would be infinitely easyer and more feasable than any kind of cosmologic sculpting.

 
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Every little helps.

 
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combined, it’s .00014% of Mars’s mass. carrying a drop of water to the oceans.

 
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geneticly engineer some kind of plant, that doesn’t need Co2, and puts out a ton of O2, and doesnt need alot of water, other stuff needed to survive on mars, etc. drop in on the planet, grow, wait a couple decades, Ta-da!

Though thats pretty much impossible, and Mar’s atmosphere might not be able to hold the O2 in…

 
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Originally posted by AirmanAlex:

geneticly engineer some kind of plant, that doesn’t need Co2, and puts out a ton of O2, and doesnt need alot of water, other stuff needed to survive on mars, etc. drop in on the planet, grow, wait a couple decades, Ta-da!

Well we already kind have a plant like that.

 
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It would take more than a couple of decades. Much, much, much more. Don’t forget, the planet receives very little sunlight. Nothing remotely as high as the levels we see on an overcast day.

Though thats pretty much impossible, and Mar’s atmosphere might not be able to hold the O2 in…

It won’t be able to hold a dense atmosphere, no. The planet’s gravity well is too weak for that. You might get away with ultra-rare air, like you find at the tips of the alps. Not able to sustain a human life for more than a few minutes without breathing apparatus, but better than nothing.

 
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Alright I’m just gonna go out here and say from what I know…Firstly…Is Mars’s atmosphere really THAT rich in carbon dioxide, I mean Mars is basically a frozen waste, mostly because of its’ great lack of that greenhouse gas…it can’t trap any heat because of it…though I’m not sure myself maybe I’m just an idiot…ANYWAY! firstly going on if I’m right we’ll need to probably set something up like super factories to pump out greenhouse gasses to the max…basically the opposite of what we’re trying to do here on Earth. Of course they will have to be controlled and once there’s enough greenhouse gasses in it’s atmosphere we can shut/slow them down, considering Mars is somewhat like Earth or Venus where ALOT of carbon dioxide is trapped in it’s rocks, once it’s hot enough for that to bake out, but be careful that you don’t cause another Venus, then the planet will get it’s own little spin going and we can just keep the factories on low. we can’t just DUMP a bunch of plants and animals on Mars, it needs to be done systematically, starting with (assuming the ice caps have melted down by now and there’s some form of water) algae and other primitive forms of water plants, then we can move up to moss, fungi, ferns, grass and eventually down the long run trees. Then we can start placing animals, they’re not needed to keep carbon dioxide levels in check till then seeing that we’ll have the factories. Still this process could take decades if not centuries depending on the technology, and if we’re planning to use it as some fall back as an excuse for not caring anymore and let global warming go full speed ahead, then we better get started! plus the whole thing will not just need a SH*T load of equipment but the careful planning and control of about….two dozen super geniuses….now I have enjoyed greatly acting smart for the past five minutes so there…..