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Damburger
2005-Nov-03, 08:42 AM
This is a staple of sci-fi, and may actually be possible. Is there anybody seriously looking into this (like NASA) right now? If so, how are they thinking it should be done?

Something I've thought about, is that most people when they think of terraforming think of Mars, but I suspect it may be easier to terraform Venus for a number of reasons:

* Venus has similiar gravity to our own planet, and its a lot easier to alter the composition of the atmosphere of a planet than to significantly alter its mass

* A terraformed Venus would be hotter than Earth and a terraformed Mars would be colder. More Earth life exists at the upper extremes of temperatures than the lower ones (compare equatorial regions to antarctica)

* Removing things from the atmosphere seems to me (intuitvely, I've no real proof) easier than adding gas to the atmosphere

Thoughts?

jkmccrann
2005-Nov-03, 08:49 AM
Thousands of years away buddy. Literally thousands.

Planetwatcher
2005-Nov-03, 09:55 AM
I think Mars would be far easier to terriform then Venus. On Venus the atmospheric pressure is more then 90 times that of Earth, it rains sufuric acid, and the surface temperture is much too high for anything to exist.

We can't build a robotic probe which would function more then a few minutes on the surface before it is litterally crushed, melted, and burned.
How we going to terriform a planet which destroys any machine we send just minutes after it's arrival?

Mars on the other hand is not so hard on our equipment. While it is so much smaller, adding to the planets mass would be less difficult then trying to siphon away the atmosphere of Venus. But it may not even be necessary to add to it's mass, if we can convert it's atmosphere to an nitrogen/oxygen base, and introduce a decent cloud cover.
At least we will be able to land equipment on Mars when we are finally ready.

Damburger
2005-Nov-03, 11:42 AM
I think Mars would be far easier to terriform then Venus. On Venus the atmospheric pressure is more then 90 times that of Earth, it rains sufuric acid, and the surface temperture is much too high for anything to exist.

We can't build a robotic probe which would function more then a few minutes on the surface before it is litterally crushed, melted, and burned.
How we going to terriform a planet which destroys any machine we send just minutes after it's arrival?


Apparantly machines, and some very tough lifeforms, might be able to exist in the upper clouds on Venus. From there they might be able to set about the work of sending the atmosphere into space, or doing something to it such that it would fall to the ground and no longer be part of the atmosphere.

Once the dense blanket of Carbon Dioxide is removed, temperatures on Venus would cool down a lot.



Mars on the other hand is not so hard on our equipment. While it is so much smaller, adding to the planets mass would be less difficult then trying to siphon away the atmosphere of Venus. But it may not even be necessary to add to it's mass, if we can convert it's atmosphere to an nitrogen/oxygen base, and introduce a decent cloud cover.
At least we will be able to land equipment on Mars when we are finally ready.

Where would the huge amounts of those gasses come from? The current martian atmosphere isn't far off a vaccuum.

Vhear
2005-Nov-03, 01:01 PM
There is several threads on the forum explaining how to terraform Mars. Here is one:

http://bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=20439

Planetwatcher
2005-Nov-03, 07:11 PM
There are a varity of different means of inducing atmosphere on a planet being terriformed. One of the more promising is to tap into the geo-thermal of the planet. Volcanos can help spew out an atmosphere. That very thing is why the atmosphere of Venus is so thick. Geo-thermal machinics is producing atmosphere on Saturn's moon enceldius as well.