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The Supreme Canuck
2005-Jan-28, 08:50 PM
Which objects in the solar system could conceivably be terraformed? How completely could they be terraformed?

I've been trying to figure it out, but I realize that I need more information before I can get it straight.

Avatar28
2005-Jan-28, 08:54 PM
I think Mars could be, though it'd probaly be a bit on the cool side. And probably would not stay Terraformed as it would eventually lose most of it's atmosphere again I think. Ditto Venus, except that it'd more likely be too hot rather than too cold :-). I'm also not sure how the whole super long day thing would affect things.

I'd think everything else would be too far away and thus too cold to be properly Terraformed. Perhaps in a few billion years when the sun swells to red giant status, it may be possible to terraform a some of the Jovian moons and have them sufficiently warm.

TriangleMan
2005-Jan-28, 08:57 PM
Sagan goes over this issue in Pale Blue Dot and definately felt that Mars was the best candidate over Venus for terraforming, including some musings on how it could be done. The immense atmospheric pressure on Venus, combined with the sulphuric acid content, makes Venus a tough world to terraform.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-28, 08:58 PM
Where do you get the atmosphere from? From earth? it would seem to me we wouldn't have enough left on earth then? Or how does it in theory work?

TriangleMan
2005-Jan-28, 09:00 PM
Terraforming Mars (http://aerospacescholars.jsc.nasa.gov/HAS/cirr/em/12/20.cfm). Includes a mention of how Sagan proposed to do it.

Doodler
2005-Jan-28, 09:02 PM
Sagan goes over this issue in Pale Blue Dot and definately felt that Mars was the best candidate over Venus for terraforming, including some musings on how it could be done. The immense atmospheric pressure on Venus, combined with the sulphuric acid content, makes Venus a tough world to terraform.

The atmospheric chemistry of Venus is pretty straightforward, I've heard something about some algae farming that could pull off changing it. If the atmosphere cooled enough to condense some of the material back out of it and back to the ground, then you'd stand a fighting chance.

Its the length of day that I don't think can be beat. Even if you could change the atmosphere, it would still get hotter than heck on the day side and frigid cold at night with the twilight and dawn regions subjected to some FEROCIOUS weather as the two extremes collided.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Jan-28, 09:07 PM
Distance from the Sun could be overcome with a solar shade or mirror right? Long days are a bit problematic, though.

(I'm working on a science fiction story, you see.)

Maddad
2005-Jan-28, 10:21 PM
Where do you get the atmosphere from? From earth? it would seem to me we wouldn't have enough left on earth then? Or how does it in theory work?Mars has three problems to overcome if you're thinking about terraforming. One is that it has almost no atmosphere. The second is that it has no open bodies of liquid water. The third is that it is generally colder than what would comfortably support human habitation.

Bringing in a comet from the Kupier belt would immediately address all three problems. There are objects out there that have sufficient mass to supply the atmosphere and water from their melted ices. From having fallen Sunward for 6 billion kilometers, they would pick up kinetic energy to help raise the planet's surface temperature.

The difficulty is that any sufficiently large body would totally destroy any human structures or life on Mars at the time of impact. If you are going to take this rout, then you must plan for it before you start a colony there.

V-GER
2005-Jan-28, 10:43 PM
TriangleMan wrote:

Terraforming Mars. Includes a mention of how Sagan proposed to do it.
From the site:
"In the 1980's, Planetary scientist Chris McKay suggested that we could seed the Martian polar caps with green plants or genetically engineered microbes that extract the liquid water they need from ice. These organisms would be dark and, thus, would absorb more sunlight that would warm up the ice and increase the overall rate of evaporation."

Oh oh, they're already at it or they're just using this theory as a cover up to the truth!
http://www.marsanomalyresearch.com/evidence-reports/2003/057/water-ice-masses.htm
http://www.marsanomalyresearch.com/evidence-reports/2004/077/mars-polar-flooding.htm
http://www.marsanomalyresearch.com/evidence-reports/2004/075/layered-water-ice.htm

skrap1r0n
2005-Jan-28, 10:43 PM
Bringing in a comet from the Kupier belt would immediately address all three problems. There are objects out there that have sufficient mass to supply the atmosphere and water from their melted ices. From having fallen Sunward for 6 billion kilometers, they would pick up kinetic energy to help raise the planet's surface temperature.

The difficulty is that any sufficiently large body would totally destroy any human structures or life on Mars at the time of impact. If you are going to take this rout, then you must plan for it before you start a colony there.

Thats a real interesting thought. Ethicly, could we do this? Dragging a planet killing body into mars is a damn hardcore idea. We have no Idea what we may inadvertanly destroy. The comet would have do be destroyed prior to impact so there would just be a lot of debris entering mars atmosphere.

Doodler
2005-Jan-28, 10:54 PM
Bringing in a comet from the Kupier belt would immediately address all three problems. There are objects out there that have sufficient mass to supply the atmosphere and water from their melted ices. From having fallen Sunward for 6 billion kilometers, they would pick up kinetic energy to help raise the planet's surface temperature.

The difficulty is that any sufficiently large body would totally destroy any human structures or life on Mars at the time of impact. If you are going to take this rout, then you must plan for it before you start a colony there.

Thats a real interesting thought. Ethicly, could we do this? Dragging a planet killing body into mars is a damn hardcore idea. We have no Idea what we may inadvertanly destroy. The comet would have do be destroyed prior to impact so there would just be a lot of debris entering mars atmosphere.

That's riding on a couple of thin legs. One, Mars may be smaller than Earth, but its still big enough that you could drop a multiple mile wide chunk of ice on it and NOT destroy someone on the ground a few thousand miles away. Also, with the atmosphere substantially thinner than Earth's even if they were in the regional neighborhood beyond the ejecta fallout range from the impact, the shockwave would be pretty modest compared to the level of compression you can attain on Earth.

Really, dropping a comet at one end of the Valles Marinaris (oy, I just butched that spelling... #-o ) isn't going to be any more detrimental to the survival of a Martian settler at the other end than Mount Penatubo was to someone living in Los Angeles.

Plat
2005-Jan-29, 01:41 AM
Is terraforming really even possible?

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Jan-29, 02:34 AM
I don't see why not. Though I suppose we'll only know for sure after we try.

rleyland
2005-Jan-29, 02:42 AM
Is terraforming really even possible?

It should be, afterall we've done a reasonable job on this planet :-)

dgavin
2005-Jan-29, 03:49 AM
My plan for terraforming mars would be more in the realms of Sci FI then Sci Posibility, but it would have the effect of putting mars into a sustanable 'green zone'.

From what we know of earth sustanable planets need oceans and volcano's work in tandum to roughly keep the Co2 in balance.

Mars main problem is it isn't masive enough for sustained vulcanism.

So, here is my Idea...

We grab Sedna, Pluto, Charon, Callista and Europa, and cdrag them to Mars. (Don;t ask me how, it's just an idea after all LOL) First we slam Ploto and Charon both into mars, then next Sedna, third is Europa, and finnaly aim Callista at it in such an angle it does a double impact event (much like the body that formed the earth). We then speed up the process of moon formation by pushing the debris cloud together.

we'll have a planet roughly 1.4 earth masses and somewhat larger then earth by some thousand killometers, give or take a lot. And around 1.38 G's gravity.

It's larger size will abosrborb more solar radiation, placeing it in effect into a Solar 'Green Zone'

Then we wait for the whole thing to cool and settle into oceans, continents, and for the moon to keep the plate technoics active enough to form an atmosphere, in oh, around some millions of years.

And walla one over sized earth like livable planet. Or a giant space sufflee....

eburacum45
2005-Jan-29, 06:25 AM
Adding planets together would result in longer term habitability; but it also results in a loss of living area.

Rather than add objects together, there is enough energy in the solar system to make every solid object habitable, in one way or another. If an object gets too much sunlight, cover it in a sunshade; if it gets too little, warm it with a collimated light beam from near the region of the Sun.
If an object is deficient in water- there is plenty in the outer system; similarly there is plenty of carbon and nitrogen in our system to increase the collective biomass of all these worlds.
Low gravity? Add a worldhouse roof to slow volatile loss. Even the magnetic fields of the gas giant planets represent a source of energy and a challenge which can be overcome; extract enough energy from Jupiter's field (say wIth an artificial ring of (not yet invented) superconductors, and it could be reduced to safe levels. The active surface of Io is a source of mineral wealth and thermal energy. Eventually our solar system, and every similar system, could hold vast numbers of humans and their descendants.

Evan
2005-Jan-29, 08:21 AM
Didn't any of you people watch Total Recall? We just have to find the underground cavern.

JHotz
2005-Feb-02, 01:32 AM
Which objects in the solar system could conceivably be terraformed? How completely could they be terraformed?

I've been trying to figure it out, but I realize that I need more information before I can get it straight.

I like the idea of terraforming. I do not think our goal should not be to make other words earthlike.

First lets consider mars. Even if Mars had a dense atmosphere we could breath at a shirtsleeve temperature you do not have a strong magnetic field to deflect particulate radiation. The equilibrium of the system will either have to be calibrated over time or will fail. How will something like a massive solar flare, comet tail, or meteor impact effect this artificial system that is only half the size of earths and not sustained by natural processes. I think space colonies will be extremely robust. If a cataclysm that would destroy the surface of the earth were to hit a colonized planet the colonist should survive.

The earth is like our nursery and the rest of the solar system is the real world. We do not want other worlds to be like earth. Just stay home if that is what you want. It is human nature to think subterranean and orbital colonies will never be desirable. This is a mistake creative minds will make these places paradises in space.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Feb-02, 02:20 AM
Well, we're suited to Earth. Having other Earth-like planets just makes it easier to live on them.

DoktorGreg
2005-Feb-02, 03:40 AM
As long as we are pulling off the impossible and redirecting a comet from deep space into mars, rather than just crudely smashing into mars lets process it first. Also, if we are clever we can do this with just a nudge so we dont need anything as exotic as giant rockets on the comets surface to pull this off.

First we find a candidate. A the correct target mass so on and so forth. Then we wait until the solar system is aligned just right, and give it a nudge. It starts a 60 year march through the solar system. The last 5 or 6 years of is journey it passes close to jupiter onward to the sun. The tidal forces of jupiter are used to render the comet into smaller pieces like happened to Shoemaker-Levy Nine. Then the mass orbits the sun, the remaining bits of comet are rendered into first liquid, then a fuzzy snow gas. Like a giant cycketron seperates different masses of radioactive metals the different masses of water and rock would have different orbits. As they passed the sun. the remaining vapor then continues onto Mars, where it rains gently down to the surface, because the comet now has the density of mist. The rocks and metals in the comet are now on a different tragectory so they miss mars altogether.

Safe water for mars.

Now onto those rocks and metals. For those of you desiring to live in tin cans in outer space they are for you. In the path of the metals tragectory we place a giant sand cast mold, with the opening facing the now molten metals (the mold can be made from the remnants of earlier comets and asteroids processed this way.). Remember we select just the right asteroid or comet that makes the alloy we want. Anyhow the molten metal slams into our giant space molds. We engineer a gate (molding term) to let the excess alloy out before the cores cool. Ready made, perfectly formed giant tin cans to live in. If we get a good impression they are even already air tight.

The best part of this processing is it gives the industralists a motive. That way Bruce willis doesnt have to be secretly recruited by nasa to drill holes in asteroids. He will already be there doin it, and rather than thinking about Liv Tyler pouting, he will have dollar signs in his eyes.

JHotz
2005-Feb-02, 03:43 AM
Well, we're suited to Earth. Having other Earth-like planets just makes it easier to live on them.

I agree that having earthlike planets would be easier. But with a few adaptations we could all just stay on earth. We may grow food on the moon and just stay here with our clean fuels, skyscrapers and mass transit the world could hold trillions of people. So why make another planet like earth just to have suburbs.

Maddad
2005-Feb-02, 04:38 AM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.

JHotz
2005-Feb-02, 08:19 AM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.

You are talking about a backup that is more vulnerable than the original. If we could terraform then we would simple terraform the wrecked earth and some of the space colonists would move back. This is no argument for making other planets like earth.

semi-sentient
2005-Feb-02, 08:08 PM
Well, what about changing the makeup of a human in the future? If the conditions are too harsh for a normal human, what about a synthetic human (whatever that means)? I have always wondered if it was possible for a human to survive in an artifical body. We basically keep our brains, but the rest of the body is synthetic. Pretty far fetched, I guess... but it would eliminate the need to adapt to other worlds that would be otherwise uninhabitable. :P

skrap1r0n
2005-Feb-02, 08:16 PM
Does mars even have enough mass to maintain a habitable atomosphere?

Plat
2005-Feb-02, 08:18 PM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.

You are talking about a backup that is more vulnerable than the original. If we could terraform then we would simple terraform the wrecked earth and some of the space colonists would move back. This is no argument for making other planets like earth.

Were gonna have to obviously get out of earth before the suns burns it up...

JHotz
2005-Feb-02, 09:29 PM
Well, what about changing the makeup of a human in the future? If the conditions are too harsh for a normal human, what about a synthetic human (whatever that means)? I have always wondered if it was possible for a human to survive in an artifical body. We basically keep our brains, but the rest of the body is synthetic. Pretty far fetched, I guess... but it would eliminate the need to adapt to other worlds that would be otherwise uninhabitable. :P

What a great idea.
One could say this is what a spacesuit does. What techniques could be used to make a “synthetic human”?
1. Embryonic genetic engineering
2. Gene therapy
3. Hormone therapy
4. Grafting
5. Implants
6. Artificial body or body parts
7. Nano therapy
Perhaps superconducting coils could be implanted in our skin to provide particle radiation shielding.

Perhaps an organic material that will enable us to survive a vacuum and not deprive us of sensory perception can be grafted to our bodies.

Lets say we replace our lungs with some kind of oxygen recycling unit that works from and external energy source. Maybe the radiation shielding could direct the radioactive particles to a power plant on our person that could provide us with the energy we need.

We could replace our digestive track with engineered organic system that can process inorganic element into what our bodies need.

Since we will not breath talking is out. We could implant radio communication or The Octopus like changing colors to communicate.

Maddad
2005-Feb-02, 10:04 PM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.You are talking about a backup that is more vulnerable than the original.You are backing up against a single event. Regardless of vulnurability, we guard against a single asteroid or comet strike wiping out all life. When we have life spread out in two locations, no matter how vulnurable either of them is, a single event no longer exterminates everything. Is this argument enough for you?


Does mars even have enough mass to maintain a habitable atomosphere?That depends on your point of view. Mars lost 99.5% of its atmosphere as compared to Earth over 4,500 million years. How long do you want that atmosphere to last without replenishment? A century? A thousand years? Ten thousand, as long as all of human civilization so far? In a thousand times that, or 10 million years, Mars would only lose 0.5% of its atmosphere. That's like living a half mile above sea level. What's your elevation?

JHotz
2005-Feb-02, 11:18 PM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.You are talking about a backup that is more vulnerable than the original.You are backing up against a single event. Regardless of vulnurability, we guard against a single asteroid or comet strike wiping out all life. When we have life spread out in two locations, no matter how vulnurable either of them is, a single event no longer exterminates everything. Is this argument enough for you?



The debate is not about using colonies to ensure survival. The debate is about terreforming the planets to be just like earth.

JHotz
2005-Feb-02, 11:24 PM
Bringing in a comet from the Kupier belt would immediately address all three problems. There are objects out there that have sufficient mass to supply the atmosphere and water from their melted ices. From having fallen Sunward for 6 billion kilometers, they would pick up kinetic energy to help raise the planet's surface temperature.

The difficulty is that any sufficiently large body would totally destroy any human structures or life on Mars at the time of impact. If you are going to take this rout, then you must plan for it before you start a colony there.

Thats a real interesting thought. Ethicly, could we do this? Dragging a planet killing body into mars is a damn hardcore idea. We have no Idea what we may inadvertanly destroy. The comet would have do be destroyed prior to impact so there would just be a lot of debris entering mars atmosphere.

That's riding on a couple of thin legs. One, Mars may be smaller than Earth, but its still big enough that you could drop a multiple mile wide chunk of ice on it and NOT destroy someone on the ground a few thousand miles away. Also, with the atmosphere substantially thinner than Earth's even if they were in the regional neighborhood beyond the ejecta fallout range from the impact, the shockwave would be pretty modest compared to the level of compression you can attain on Earth.

Really, dropping a comet at one end of the Valles Marinaris (oy, I just butched that spelling... #-o ) isn't going to be any more detrimental to the survival of a Martian settler at the other end than Mount Penatubo was to someone living in Los Angeles.

How about vaporizing the comet just before impact?

Maddad
2005-Feb-03, 01:27 AM
The debate is not about using colonies to ensure survival. The debate is about terreforming the planets to be just like earth.The motive for which is establishing colonies.

W.F. Tomba
2005-Feb-03, 02:33 AM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.

You are talking about a backup that is more vulnerable than the original. If we could terraform then we would simple terraform the wrecked earth and some of the space colonists would move back. This is no argument for making other planets like earth.It might not be so easy to just terraform Earth back to a livable state. That would require that the colony be completely self-sustaining for the hundreds of years that terraforming would take. It would also require that all the necessary technology, sources of energy, expertise, giant robotic comet-catching ships, etc. that are needed for terraforming be accessible and usable to the colonists without any help from Earth. What if the Terraforming Institute were located on Earth and its scientists were killed along with the rest of Earth's people?

JHotz
2005-Feb-03, 04:10 AM
The why is that we want a backup before we are struck by a celestial object capable of exterminating all life on Earth.

You are talking about a backup that is more vulnerable than the original. If we could terraform then we would simple terraform the wrecked earth and some of the space colonists would move back. This is no argument for making other planets like earth.It might not be so easy to just terraform Earth back to a livable state. That would require that the colony be completely self-sustaining for the hundreds of years that terraforming would take. It would also require that all the necessary technology, sources of energy, expertise, giant robotic comet-catching ships, etc. that are needed for terraforming be accessible and usable to the colonists without any help from Earth. What if the Terraforming Institute were located on Earth and its scientists were killed along with the rest of Earth's people?

Your point is than nonearthlike colonies will probable not be self-sufficient. I disagree. I think nonearthlike colonies will no only be self sufficient but better able to terraform earth. They live with the necessary technologies every day as a matter of survival. The would probable have superior launch facilities and space engineers ect.

Kaptain K
2005-Feb-03, 09:08 AM
Does mars even have enough mass to maintain a habitable atomosphere?
Not indefinitely! If you could create a habitable atmosphere on Mars, it would only last a few million years! :o

Maddad
2005-Feb-03, 09:49 AM
A few million? Where do you get that figure when it lasted a few billion the last time? And even if you were right, which you are not, a few million is still a few hundred times as long as all of Earth's civilized history to date. Repeat after Arnold, "No Problemo!"