Mars.. an the new start...

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by R1D2, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    I truefully had heard something a while ago.
    That we could affect the climate an Mars in general.
    The how part is by getting certain plant species planted on mars an creating some carbon dioxide, there by we would eventually get oxygen, an rain. An I heard on T.V. That they could create a new earth like atmosphere on Mars in almost two years.

    I would like to discuss the wide range more or less. Of what plants could be used, could this theory occur an within the two years? What could changing Mars. Do for us? Would there be suitable oxygen for humans? What animals would we need there? Why or why not? Could this happen? Could we make this "red" planet habitable? The list of questions I could ask an you are many.
    let's "talk" about this. An keep this thread going. I think this is a interesting "theory"
     
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  3. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, but there's really not much to talk about here. Apparently, you (and many others, like the ones you saw on TV) aren't aware of the extremely harsh conditions on Mars - the temperature in particular. No Earth plant of any type could survive there. And if plants can't survive I'm hoping that anyone could see that no animal has even a remote chance.

    Now... if you want to go through a couple of hundred years (or mostly likely several) of building artificial habitats that are externally powered for heating/cooling and also water extraction then it becomes a slightly different story. But TWO YEARS?? That's absurdly insane!
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No, we're talking hundreds, if not thousands, of years and lots of geoengineering.

    The toxicity of carbon dioxide would be a bigger problem. Many of the plans to terraform Mars involve getting atmospheric pressure up to about 200-300 millibars (it is currently around 4 mb) of primarily CO2. You couldn't breathe it, but it would support plant life and you could go outside with just an oxygen mask and a (thick) coat.

    One angle is to dig a very deep hole (as in miles deep) and start planting at the bottom. The atmosphere at the bottom would be both warmer and denser due to the pressure of the atmosphere above it, and would be able to support very simple plant life - think lichens. You'd likely need something more than shovels to dig such a hole, though; a few dozen big thermonuclear bombs might do it.

    Another is to add volatiles by dropping asteroids on it, primarily water-ice asteroids. This adds volatiles (like water) to the atmosphere and increases heat content.

    A third approach is to increase solar radiation absorbed. This can be done locally (by covering the planet with something dark, like carbon) or externally (by orbiting or sailing big mirrors above the surface.) By increasing the temperature of the planet you melt and release stored CO2 and water, resulting in a thicker atmosphere. There is some conjecture that a sufficient increase would become self-sustaining as the released CO2 started causing a greenhouse effect.

    A fourth method is to use very powerful greenhouse gases like CFC's. A small amount of them ("small" being millions of tons) would cause a significant rise in temperature and thus pressure.

    If you get closer to fantasy you can imagine some sort of giant engine used to move the planet closer to the Sun to accomplish the same task. The energies required are many orders of magnitude larger than we can hope to accomplish though.

    No animals for a long, long time - which means no flowering plants, either, for obvious reasons.
     
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  7. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

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    Can't we geneteicly engenier some simple life forms, or microscopic life forms, to do the task.
    I'm sure some of them can survive, ever ehard of the water bear? It can survive even in outer space for a long time, it can live in extreme high tempetures (like up to 300°C) and in extremly low tempetures like around -300°C, not to mention that they can handle high radiations.

    It may not terraform mars in our life time, or even in some hundreds of years, but it may trigger many changes on mars, and microbes may reproduce faster and do the job.

    It is also known that microbes and viruses multiply and evolve faster in a low-gravity environement.
     
  8. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Why not spend all that money right here on our own planet to get it corrected? We have polluted Earth to the point that many species that use to live here are no longer living any longer and have become extinct due to human stupidity. I'd think before we start to screw around trying to make another planet habitable we should first fix our own and make it environmentally balanced and clean.
     
  9. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    Terraforming will be possible in far future but is currently not viable due to the high energy needs for such operation. The local timeframe, people will be constructing biodomes and capsules for settlements on Mars.
     
  10. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    It may be absurdly insane. But that's one reason I brought this topic to a thread.
    Could a robot sent to mars like curiosity... Bring something small that would release something like carbon in a large quantity, that would jump start a environment change. Or could we detonate a relatively small bomb or even a nuclear battery. To get the ball rolling. Or set up the "bio domes" an release enough "by-products" through our visits. To make it "habitual" sooner. Bamboo seems a hardy plant would that be a likely plant type to be used in the early stages. An if we had bio-domes could we have animals then?
     
  11. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    No, nothing exists like that .


    What exactly would that accomplish? Nothing that I'm aware of except making another crater on the surface of Mars.

    We have tried to create those biodomes here already and both biodomes failed to support life for an extended period of time. That was here not on Mars where conditions are even far worse with no atmosphere and radiation pouring in all of the time.

    Early stages of what, a planet with no atmosphere, no water, radiation, minus 200 degrees and very poor soil.
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    "something small" vs "large quantity" doesn't work.

    You'd need a lot of very large bombs to do anything at all (including digging big holes.)

    There is no conceivable way to bring enough stuff from Earth to make a difference. Anything you did there you'd have to do with in-situ materials.

    Sure - but biodomes have their own problems (fragility, lack of protection from radiation etc)
     
  13. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    What is the far future? Geoengineering will certainly happen on Earth and Mars, mars can be relativly easly terraformed compared to other objects lke the moon or venus in fact introducing a range of supergreenhouse fluorcarbons could at least make the atmosphere thicker even if ceratain life forms could already survive the martian enviroment
     
  14. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    you could trigger Mount Olympus to erupt, causing water ice to melt to release water vapor. This would allow radiation protection, cause some greenhouse effect, and maybe allow something to exist on there.
     
  15. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    A recent study (link) has shown that some lichen could survive and perform photosynthesis on Mars for at least for 34 days (the duration of the experiment). I imagen that their are a little but still several lifeforms on Earth that could survive the martian condistions and perform photosynthesis.
    In fact it's still uncertain if mars is really lifeless because there is a of yet unknown process on Mars that is making methane this could be a purely chemical reaction or the waste products of lifeforms more study is still required here.

    In either case genetically manipulating these lifeforms could do far more good
     
  16. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Well I do think that it would be smart if we as the people of the world got together. An got Mars "functioning". As soon as we could. To be habitual. In case Earth had a disaster. We could send our astronauts to mars an keep our "race" alive.
     
  17. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe but I would protest on sending lifeforms into the enviroment at the start there is to much change that their allready is life out there and then the question is if we are related to it if it came from earth on meteorites millions of years ago or if it developed completly independed.
    I doubt we're really capable of sending mirrors or deflect icy asteroids at this time.

    This leaves releasing some super greenhouse gasses. This seems like a good idea and something that could be done on the first mission
     
  18. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Why not build a space city above the Earth, that was we could rebuild the Earth from overhead not 500 million miles away.

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  19. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    If it was yust land you needed you could build a structure in the middle of the sea and life on that for a fraction of the costs. The main problem with giant space stations would be that their are no local resources to leech of.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Mars is fairly geologically "dead" - it is much closer to our moon than the Earth, tectonically speaking. You're not going to get much if anything out of any volcanoes.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Because then you'd have to lift all those construction materials through our atmosphere. Imagine how many millions of tons of pollution that would add to the air.
     
  22. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Well I will try keeping my answer short. No gravity for a super long time is bad. An you don't know say a super volcano erupts. How long you need. Before things improve on earth. Lack of resources. An space is cold.
     
  23. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

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    Surprise! Mars do have tectnoic activity, two main tectonic planes have been discovered so far.
     

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