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Old 26th-November-2013, 03:19 AM   #1
Auburn
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Default Mars Terraform

What if we approached Mars Terraforming like this...

First, the issues:

  1. There isn't enough atmosphere on Mars, it would need to come from somewhere else.
  2. The core may need to be melted, giving Mars a magnetic field to protect from radiation.
  3. Water would need to be imported, as the volume within the poles doesn't suffice by itself.

The solutions:

  1. Using existing resources in the Solar System: primarily Venus. The outer layer of Venus' atmosphere has almost identical atmospheric consistency as earth. We could send a special spacecraft to Venus carrying various containers. When taken out of Venus' atmosphere, the oxygen (and CO2) would become liquid due to cool space temperatures, drastically reducing the size of the cargo (861 times less volume). We'd then transport it to Mars.
    -
  2. Melting the core is no small task; it'd take enormous energy. The strongest tool we have right now is nuclear explosions - but that might put the planet at other risks. If we've mastered nuclear fusion energy, this might be a less traumatic solution which can send a constant drill-injection of nuclear energy to the core. But this isn't absolutely necessary for terraforming if a thick enough atmosphere is given which can produce enough heat/pressure.
    -
  3. Hundreds of remotely guided rockets could go into the Asteroid belt and identify ice-asteroids, ingrain themselves onto their surface and use their propulsion to steer them into Mar's atmosphere - at which point they would melt into water, given the atmosphere is there already.

Assuming we start this procedure at around 2150 A.D., when we have A.I. generating infinite manual-labor and cost of production is minimal:

Step 1 could take some 50-100 cargo ships - many can be sent at once, and the mission could be completed in a decade or two.
Step 2 will probably take centuries to fully complete, even with the mastery of nuclear fusion reactors.
Step 3 could take a bit longer than Step 1 since the asteroid belt is farther away. It may take several hundred trips and maybe 80-100 years.
We could have Mars sufficiently terraformed by about 2300 A.D. ^_^

I wonder, have you guys come up with or seen other theories for how we might accomplish mars terraforming?
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Old 26th-November-2013, 03:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

This reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy.

Anyways, I think terraforming should be done in steps to maximize both theoretical and practical R&D.

The steps are:

1. Early installations in remote mountains above the treeline. The lack of oxygen and harsh environmental conditions are the closest that we can get into space terraforming.
2. Lunar terraforming with the help of a space elevator
3. Martian terraforming when we perfect a means to protect the new Martian atmosphere from solar winds.
4. Venus (?)
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Old 26th-November-2013, 06:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Mmm, so you suggest we try terraforming techniques on the moon and our mountains before trying it on mars?

I agree with the mountains, but the moon is outright dead. I think it'd actually be easier to terraform mars than our moon. Mars has more natural resources even as it is now.

- The moon has zero protection from solar winds or radiation. because:
- It doesn't have the gravity to sustain an atmosphere (it's too small) &:
- It doesn't have a polarized core.
- It doesn't have a 24 hour day like Mars does.
- It doesn't have *any* water.
- etc

I think the technologies to terraform Mars are within our reach, at least theoretically, while I can't really see how we'd practically do that to the moon. But maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 26th-November-2013, 07:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
Mmm, so you suggest we try terraforming techniques on the moon and our mountains before trying it on mars?

I agree with the mountains, but the moon is outright dead. I think it'd actually be easier to terraform mars than our moon. Mars has more natural resources even as it is now.

- The moon has zero protection from solar winds or radiation. because:
- It doesn't have the gravity to sustain an atmosphere (it's too small) &:
- It doesn't have a polarized core.
- It doesn't have a 24 hour day like Mars does.
- It doesn't have *any* water.
- etc

I think the technologies to terraform Mars are within our reach, at least theoretically, while I can't really see how we'd practically do that to the moon. But maybe I'm missing something.
Those were good points. Perhaps the Moon would be better off as an R&D site then since it would be more economical to conduct your terraforming tests there.

I think the moon can also become a staging ground for Mars colonizers after a space elevator is established. We could construct/maintain ships there rather than on Earth since it's easier to escape the Moon's gravity.
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Old 26th-November-2013, 10:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Yes. I do see our moon becoming something like that instead. (:

The space elevator idea is really genius though, and will speed things up dramatically too. I think the order of operations to get to the 3 stages described in the OP (in other words our progress from now to 2150 A.D.) would be something like this:

  1. Build reusable rockets (reduces cost of space missions by 100 fold)
  2. Build space elevator (commercial spaceflight is a reality)
  3. First human landings on mars / exploration of the terrain.
  4. A.I. develop. Manufacturing costs dramatically decrease for humanity.
  5. Advances are made in interplanetary Spaceships. Commercial cruises to planets.
  6. Nuclear fusion energy is mastered, humanity now has a near-inexhaustible power supply.
Synopsis

1 - This one is already being worked on by SpaceX. It may be ready within 5 years, or 10 at most. And has already been used by NASA on contract.
approx ~ year 2020?

2 - I hear Google has plans for this already. I'm assuming it'd be made out of carbon-fiber. This is certainly an inescapable necessary step forward. This could theoretically be done by 2020 if funds were available. If not then after step 4 (see below).
approx ~ year 2020 or 2030+?

3 - Several groups are in the works to get there by 2022-2025. The famous Mars One, and Mars Semi-Direct are two that come to mind.
approx ~ year 2023?

4 - Ray Kurzweil predicts sentient A.I. will develop around 2029. We already have less-than-human-level A.I. working many of our machines and that will continue to grow, and we'll have manual labor become obsolete (as per GodofOrder's essay)
approx ~ year 2030+?

5 - The first interplanetary missions will be cramped and uncomfortable, like the one to Mars. But once the space elevator is up, within a decade or two production of costs will be so low that comfortable cruises to mars/venus/jupiter will be possible. Our designs will get better and we'll be able to design the ships needed to perform the venus-to-mars oxygen transfer missions, and the ice-asteroid missions. Assuming the space elevator is built by 2040, then this will happen by 2060.
approx ~ year 2050+?

6 - This is an unknown to me, but with the aide of the superintelligence of A.I. emerging around 2030, I suspect we might have this down by 2060 as well, if not sooner.
approx ~ year 2060+?

So optimistically we could start terraforming mars by 2060-2070, but politics and other things will likely drag some of these things out, still I can't see them taking longer than by 2150 A.D. to get started on Mars.
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Old 26th-November-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

*flies to Jupiter and scoops up hydrogen in low orbit passes, then flies back to earth and sells it in bulk as cheap fuel*

*soon everyone is doing it*

*burning hydrogen strips the atmosphere of all oxygen*

Silly humans, robots don't need air
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Old 26th-November-2013, 11:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Just make sure not to disrupt the Void Dragon.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 05:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
Silly humans, robots don't need air
But kitties do. >.<
Coggie, you wouldn't take down all the innocent
kitties along with the humans, would you? O.O


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fukyo View Post
Just make sure not to disrupt the Void Dragon.
Spoiler:



Spoiler:



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Old 27th-November-2013, 02:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
Yes. I do see our moon becoming something like that instead. (:

The space elevator idea is really genius though, and will speed things up dramatically too. I think the order of operations to get to the 3 stages described in the OP (in other words our progress from now to 2150 A.D.) would be something like this:

  1. Build reusable rockets (reduces cost of space missions by 100 fold)
  2. Build space elevator (commercial spaceflight is a reality)
  3. First human landings on mars / exploration of the terrain.
  4. A.I. develop. Manufacturing costs dramatically decrease for humanity.
  5. Advances are made in interplanetary Spaceships. Commercial cruises to planets.
  6. Nuclear fusion energy is mastered, humanity now has a near-inexhaustible power supply.
Synopsis

1 - This one is already being worked on by SpaceX. It may be ready within 5 years, or 10 at most. And has already been used by NASA on contract.
approx ~ year 2020?

2 - I hear Google has plans for this already. I'm assuming it'd be made out of carbon-fiber. This is certainly an inescapable necessary step forward. This could theoretically be done by 2020 if funds were available. If not then after step 4 (see below).
approx ~ year 2020 or 2030+?

3 - Several groups are in the works to get there by 2022-2025. The famous Mars One, and Mars Semi-Direct are two that come to mind.
approx ~ year 2023?

4 - Ray Kurzweil predicts sentient A.I. will develop around 2029. We already have less-than-human-level A.I. working many of our machines and that will continue to grow, and we'll have manual labor become obsolete (as per GodofOrder's essay)
approx ~ year 2030+?

5 - The first interplanetary missions will be cramped and uncomfortable, like the one to Mars. But once the space elevator is up, within a decade or two production of costs will be so low that comfortable cruises to mars/venus/jupiter will be possible. Our designs will get better and we'll be able to design the ships needed to perform the venus-to-mars oxygen transfer missions, and the ice-asteroid missions. Assuming the space elevator is built by 2040, then this will happen by 2060.
approx ~ year 2050+?

6 - This is an unknown to me, but with the aide of the superintelligence of A.I. emerging around 2030, I suspect we might have this down by 2060 as well, if not sooner.
approx ~ year 2060+?

So optimistically we could start terraforming mars by 2060-2070, but politics and other things will likely drag some of these things out, still I can't see them taking longer than by 2150 A.D. to get started on Mars.
I was watching Nat Geo's special about comet ISON when I was reminded of this thread. Perhaps we could also get a means of wrangling comets (solar sails?). They can be used as artificial moons that can gravitationally "massage" the core enough to make it generate a protective magnetic field again. Of course, they could also provide a decent source of water and gases.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 03:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fukyo View Post
Just make sure not to disrupt the Void Dragon.
I so wish to attend Adeptus Mechanicus University in Mars.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 04:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Coggie, you wouldn't take down all the innocent
kitties along with the humans, would you? O.O
Vat grown cat clones has a nice ring to it.

Quote:
Just make sure not to disrupt the Void Dragon.
I am (will be) the void dragon!
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Old 27th-November-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

And here is a punch in the face to everyone to think about: http://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/c...n_a_series_of/

Long but worth to read.

~ "We now have the technology to take ET home"

~ "We found an error in the equations and we now know how to travel to the stars, and it won’t take us a lifetime to do it"

- Lockheed Skunk CEO soon before his death during presentation to audience.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 09:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
~ "We now have the technology to take ET home"

~ "We found an error in the equations and we now know how to travel to the stars, and it won’t take us a lifetime to do it"

- Lockheed Skunk CEO soon before his death during presentation to audience.
What did that have to do with your link?

No I didn't read all of it.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 09:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

You need to read it all. To be honest, I dug deeper into this and it seemed to me that there were one Japanese bond scandal where two men brought cases of several hundred billion dollars in bonds. Then there were Span case where the sum is in trillions. In my opinion, it cannot be that such people would be caught in border control. I think they deliberately let themselves to be caught because there are rumours from China and other East nations that they've been robbed by US, Japan from their gold in the past(google WW2 Yamashita gold) and now they send messages to the guys in the West that they know everything about where the money went to. And they are ready to expose everything. This is interesting point in my opinion and I just wanted to introduce it here because technologies were always hiden away from public.

As an example, NSA in mid 60s had a computer with 650 MHz CPU and it only became available to public in 1990s which means that we MIGHT be facing secret research(have you heard about Pentagon being questioned on where 8 trillion dollars went to? Also Federal Reserve had a lawsuit filed against them for siphoning over 7 trillion over the years from Treasury). Also, there is a video footage from House of Lords https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l67HCjdXMEg about 15 trillion dollars.

Now you may say that this is bankers filling their coffers with tax money and in a nutshell it might be true. But! Why so much? Answer: for BIG project and research. And this is why this story is amazing and should be investigated by everyone who have an interest because it means that we deal with people who did research in secret, found error in equation(I suppose it is Maxwell equations) and now they have ability to dispose of rockets and use some kind of other tech to travel the space.

Unleash your speculations because you INTPs might come up with good ideas on this stuff. My conclusion: secret space program. And this is why I dropped two quotes from that CEO because he publicly admitted that they have the tech to travel fast. It must mean that they are free from oil and have developed tech similar to Star Trek At least that makes sense.

Also, read Farrell's books. He is amazing researcher and will exercise your brain which I LOVED to experience.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 09:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
What did that have to do with your link?

No I didn't read all of it.
I googled some of the quotes. tl;dr we need ESP psykers to guide us through the warp.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 09:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Interstellar travel has already been harnessed.

The divine psychic manifestation of the Almighty Emperor known as the Astronomicon, provides the Navigators a shining beacon with which they are able to traverse the warp.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 10:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Warp take you all! Imperial Scum.
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Old 27th-November-2013, 10:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fukyo View Post
Awesome.

*dons techpriest attire* if you need me I'll be in the engine room *lifts up a hatch from which emanates copious amounts of heat, noise and noxious fumes, eagerly scampers into this almost literal hellhole and reseals the hatch with a satisfying thunk*
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Old 29th-December-2016, 08:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Have you guys seen the new Space X Mars announcement?


Elon Musk has actually put forward a comprehensive, solid plan for mars colonization.

Unlike existing proposals (NASA) for something as small as a token rock sample mission, or initial footprints mission, Musk is starting from the ground up with large scale colonization in mind. And his transport ship is designed to carry 100+ people at a time to the red planet, along with supplies.

Dreamer...? or true visionary?
What do you guys think --could it happen?
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Old 29th-December-2016, 09:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

I like the guy. I just don't understand why he obsesses over such an irrelevant project where he could push for a Moon / Europa / Titan / Venus colony instead, which seem to be more scientifically practical and relevant outposts to choose from. Or something related to Earth's sustainability / space shipyard / asteroid mining.

I understand that he was disillusioned after the post cold war NASA receded from space record breaking and he wishes to pick up where they left off and to reignite the visionary hopes that everyone shared, but Mars really isn't an interesting place to study, colonise or waste possibly the single one in a lifetime opportunity for.

Once the media and people were sold on the Martian plan, it's inordinately more challenging to alter their convictions.

Mars isn't worth terraforming as long as there's no way to reactivate its solid core, or generate a significant magnetic field without it.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 04:57 AM   #21
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Wow my earlier posts in this thread are terrible.

Water would need to be imported, as the volume within the poles doesn't suffice by itself.

We could mine ice from Europa and just dump it in the Martian gravity well, it'll do the whole liquefying thing on the way down.

The core may need to be melted, giving Mars a magnetic field to protect from radiation.

This could be done on a planetary scale, although the amount of energy required would be enormous and we'd need a lot of super thick copper cables if we intend to achieve it in a non-astronomical length of time.

There isn't enough atmosphere on Mars, it would need to come from somewhere else.

The ice from Europa would contribute a lot to the atmosphere, although we will need to get a lot of nitrogen or another relatively inert gas from somewhere if we wish to have an Earth like atmosphere.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 06:11 AM   #22
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

The magnetic field issue is a pesky little bugger, isn't it?

But actually... we can forego the magnetic field for now (until super intelligent A.I. think of a solution).


The surface of Venus is more blocked from radiation than the earth is, due to the thickness of its atmosphere. So the creation of an atmosphere on Mars will block radiation sufficiently. Sure maybe 5-10 years less life expectancy for humans but that's nothing.

A bigger problem is that the atmosphere will dissipate with time due to the lack of the magnetic field. But we just have to keep up with the dissipation. For example, if every 100 years it loses 1% of its atmosphere, we can recover that much. After all, it took Mars thousands of years to lose its atmosphere the first time.

So we may only have to partly "re-terraform" it every few thousand years. And by then we'll likely have a permanent solution. Maybe?
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Old 30th-December-2016, 08:31 AM   #23
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

Can we make semi-subterranian colonies first instead? The outer bedrock can act as a radiation shield and as a plug to keep artificial air/oceans within the planet. We can have portholes to let sunlight in and simulate weather/ecosystem within the caves.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 07:16 PM   #24
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Sorta like an ant colony?
Hehe

I've seen Mars One propose something like that, by piling up dirt over their habitats. Apparently that much is sufficient for radiation protection without needing full excavation:



I think subterranean habitats might be harder than they sound. What if the cave's ceiling breaks? Would a cave be sufficiently air-tight to allow breathability? Would the air seep through the dirt? How would we have enough light when the full surface of mars itself only just barely provides enough. But then again, every plan has a lot of unanswered what-ifs, and I'm no scientist.



Excavation would be interesting in places like Utopia Planitia, since it's basically a giant frozen lake, so excavating would serve a double function of providing precious water resources.
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Old 31st-December-2016, 01:11 AM   #25
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We will be dwarves IN SPACE!

Structural issues can be adressed by making steel off the martian soil. The bedrock can be coated with the same materials used to make airtight domes which i think is less costly than making habitats on the surface. We will need to complement natural cavern lights with solar panel.
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Old 2nd-January-2017, 06:48 PM   #26
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

possible easier (and crazier) alternative to terraforming:

LIFEFORMING
instead of transforming a planet to fit us, it would be much easier in terms of energy to transform ourselves to fit the planet.

The easiest way to do this would be to become JARVIS...or even ULTRON. If humanity manage to upload its own minds into digital forms, one would no longer need a fragile jelly of amino acids to interact with the world, but 3D print whatever tough, high melting point, versatile, powerful, immune and most importantly, disposable actuators needed. Populating the planet would be as easy as mass production of some sort of neural network platform in order to preserve individuality (if that's even nessesary), which can be coupled to standard actuation units (and possibly privately produced, commercial units).

Or some hard core genetic engineering using digital optimisation which is existing technology (multiplied by better computing power in the future, of course).
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 12:15 AM   #27
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

I read somewhere that someone is toying with the idea of using ice structures. It is a great insulator but they'd have to set up near the poles (I assume) for a decent supply.
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Old 6th-January-2017, 04:29 AM   #28
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

here's an idea..

what if we turn Mars into a giant magnet by polarizing the iron in it? that way a magnetic field could be generated without doing something as extreme as melting the core :0

the principles would be the same as magnetizing a screwdriver by wrapping a conductive wire around it and connecting the two ends to a car battery. a conductive conduit could be built around the circumference of Mars - perhaps winding around a couple times - and an electrical current passed through it. if the field was strong enough, it should at least cause the material in the outer layers to become magnetized. an alternative that might work to penetrate the core would be to drill through the planet a few times and loop a thick conductive cable around the location of the core.

this would all prolly take a lot of construction, but SpaceX seems to be on top of material transport, so perhaps something like this would be possible in the not-too-terribly-far future
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Old 6th-January-2017, 06:46 AM   #29
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Default Re: Mars Terraform

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Originally Posted by Pyropyro View Post
Can we make semi-subterranian colonies first instead? The outer bedrock can act as a radiation shield and as a plug to keep artificial air/oceans within the planet. We can have portholes to let sunlight in and simulate weather/ecosystem within the caves.
I like this plan, we could even strip the martian atmosphere to increase the pressure differential so the caverns could be huge.
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