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  • Although our planet is big and full of lots of natural resources, they will not last forever.

  • As the population of Earth continues to climb, all these resources we have will continue

  • to a result we will eventually

  • need to look elsewhere to maintain our ever growing

  • needs.

  • Naturally, we will turn our attentions towards our nearest neighbour - Mars

  • Getting there, creating a colony and living off the planets resources will be extremely

  • difficult tasks that could be a reality in our lifetime.....but

  • can we go a huge step further and one day terraform

  • Mars?

  • So we can call it true home from home.

  • So what is terraforming?

  • - Terraforming is the hypothetical process of manipulating a planets

  • atmosphere, temperature and ecology in order to make it Earth-like and suitable for humans

  • to live on.

  • Mars was once a very geologically active planet with vast seas, tectonic processes, volcanoes,

  • a strong magnetic field and a thick atmosphere......

  • but sadly due to its small size, it cooled quickly

  • and was unable to maintain its magnetic field.

  • As the magnetic field weakened the sun stripped away its atmosphere.

  • Today, Mars' atmosphere is still present but it is extremely thin, it's

  • atmospheric pressure being only about 0.6% (0.6kpa) of Earth's (101.3kpa).

  • It is still losing 100grams of atmosphere every second - the

  • equivalent being the mass of a burger every second!

  • One of the key factors required for terraforming would be the need to raise temperatures, the

  • average temperature on Mars is about minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60 degrees Celsius).

  • The easiest way to make the planet warmer would be to significantly increase Carbon

  • Dioxide (CO2) levels....Carbon dioxide is the most

  • common greenhouse gas available on the planet and

  • would help thicken the atmosphere in order to raise temperatures.

  • Although our current ability to carry out such a gargantuan task is way beyond us, and

  • will most likely be the case for many centuries yet,

  • there are theories about how we might one day be able

  • to achieve turning Mars in a fully fledged home.

  • Current theories include...

  • Releasing CO2 gases trapped within rocks and the polar ice caps.....however, it has been

  • calculated that the amounts available for extraction would not be anywhere near enough

  • to raise the temperature to the levels required

  • this method would have to work in conjunction with

  • other possible plans like bombarding the planet with rockets carrying greenhouse gases over

  • a long period of time or maybe advancement in

  • future technologies would be able to extract more

  • of the trapped CO2.

  • Elon Musk has suggested that the quickest way to raise temperature levels would be to

  • simply nuke the planet!

  • But this method would come with huge risks, it could trigger a 'nuclear winter',

  • whereby the explosions create so much dust it blocks out the sunlight completely and

  • cools the planet further.

  • NASA has already ruled out such a radical approach as this would compromise the

  • planets natural environment.

  • Orbital Mirrors .....yes you heard correctly, giant mirrors positioned around the planet

  • could redirect sunlight and its heat directly onto

  • the planets surface or even be positioned to melt ice

  • deposits to release CO2.

  • Artificial magnetospheres may play important roles in terraforming, this method would significantly

  • reduce solar winds that are currently stripping the atmosphere and simulations show that the

  • atmospheric pressure could recover to about 50% of Earths atmosphere within years...

  • There are 2 options for this - one is by building a system of refrigerated latitudinal

  • superconducting rings across the planets surface, creating the magnetosphere on the planet.

  • Or by placing a powerful magnetic dipole in the space between the sun and Mars, deflecting

  • the solar winds away before it gets anywhere near

  • the planet.

  • Another method that has been proposed is by redirecting asteroids to crash into the

  • surface where ground ice is abundant and creating meltwater lakes that can be sustained for

  • thousands of years.

  • Although this method wouldn't be feasible in terraforming the whole planet,

  • it would allow for small areas of concentrated terraforming to feed off the impact site water

  • lake, creating domes to protect the lake to grow

  • forests that would supply oxygen to colonies.

  • This would be useful in the early stages of the

  • planets colonisation.

Although our planet is big and full of lots of natural resources, they will not last forever.


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B1 中級

MARS UPDATE: テラフォーミング、磁気圏、大気、核爆弾、軌道ミラー。 (MARS UPDATE: TERRAFORMING, Magnetosphere, Atmosphere, NUCLEAR BOMBS and Orbital Mirrors.)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日