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OfflinePsiloSaint
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"Sparking" a biosphere on Mars
    #6344897 - 12/07/06 05:16 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Stephen Hawking says that humans must colonize other planets to avoid extinction. NASA is planning on colonizing the moon by 2020 and eventually Mars.

Of course 'colonization' means constructing an airtight building that humans can live in and only occasionally venture outside of onto the planet's surface with an annoying space-suit. If we want to start talking about exploring the cosmos and expanding our presence in it, we need to drop this cumbersome method and replace it with a new one.

In short, we need to create a new science - the science of designing and engineering the rapid genesis of biospheres on alien worlds. It's important that the creation of the biosphere be as quick as possible so we can settle in, quick defined in this case to be anywhere from several years or decades, to millenia. And we must be able to do it on any planet that falls within a range of requirements.

This is where Mars enters the picture. It's a beautiful planet that would be a perfect place for humans to live, but the atmosphere is thin, and it's composed of over 95% carbon dioxide. The surface is covered in iron (III) oxide. Large water deposits can be found in the form of ice at the planet's poles.

So, what can we do with it?

How can we make it habitable?

First we would need to make a plant biosphere with the eventual goal of making it habitable for humans.

And this is where creativity comes in..

What could we do to create the conditions necessary to spark a biosphere that is human-compatible on Mars?


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“Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around. An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.”

Terence McKenna


Edited by PsiloSaint (12/07/06 05:17 PM)


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Invisibleangryshroom
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: PsiloSaint]
    #6344983 - 12/07/06 05:49 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Seems like a lot of work. What about gravity, I mean, won't our bodies get all tweaked out from the lack of forces on our bones? Or would we be okay with it unless we went back to earth.

Then the whole thing about living indoors for the rest of life. That would be weird.

A big ol biosphere brought up to the moon seems like a huge operation.


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InvisibleDieCommie

Registered: 12/11/03
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: angryshroom]
    #6345068 - 12/07/06 06:37 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Thats the first thing I thought too.  The gravity is permanently weak (unless you bring extra mass somehow :lol:).  So even if we get an ecosystem going that has oxygen and the like, the gas would probably be to thin for us to live.

We would literally have to evolve a separate species to suit the planet.


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InvisibleDisco Cat
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: DieCommie]
    #6345155 - 12/07/06 07:05 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

What about getting smashed to death by asteroids? Mars doesn't have the protective whatever-sphere that Earth does, which burns up most threats before they hit us.


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InvisibleDieCommie

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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: Disco Cat]
    #6345308 - 12/07/06 08:02 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Disco Cat said:
What about getting smashed to death by asteroids? Mars doesn't have the protective whatever-sphere that Earth does, which burns up most threats before they hit us.


The magneto-sphere? The magnetosphere is lacking on mars, which would allow harmful cosmic rays into the atmosphere. Cosmic rays do damage to organic molecules.

Meteoroids/asteroids also pose a threat, but they are burnt up by the atmosphere, which would theoretically exist if we had an ecosystem on mars.

Seems that low gravity and lack of magnetic field are deal breakers (for now).


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OfflineMAGnum
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: DieCommie]
    #6345329 - 12/07/06 08:10 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Hell yeah, Colonizing other planets is totally part of a great human agenda. I can't discribe how great of an idea it is.


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Agent 727
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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: DieCommie]
    #6347317 - 12/08/06 10:19 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

DieCommie said:
We would literally have to evolve a separate species to suit the planet.





I'm all for GM humans. :eek: :rocket: :sun:


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OfflinePsiloSaint
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #6348314 - 12/08/06 05:16 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Incredible artistic rendering of a Mars terraformation:



I was just thinking about this stuff as I was looking at the night sky high...didn't know it was called terraforming. I found a cool Wikipedia article on it at Terraforming]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming]Terraforming

The article addresses Mars' lack of a magnetosphere:

"On a longer timescale, and with the technology of the future (in perhaps 25-50 years), an artificial magnetosphere seems possible: If the energy of several large fusion-power-stations is used to power large superconducting magnets - the field should be strong enough to protect at least local settlements. However, recent scientific evidence suggest that just a thick enough atmosphere like Earth's is enough to create a magnetic shielding in an absence of a magnetosphere"

Mars' gravity is .38 that of Earth's, which I don't think would be a big problem since people living on Mars likely wouldn't be going back and forth to Earth..


--------------------
“Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around. An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.”

Terence McKenna


Edited by PsiloSaint (12/08/06 05:31 PM)


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Offlinenobhdy
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: PsiloSaint]
    #6348548 - 12/08/06 06:54 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

actually, new technology utilizing electronic stimulation in the bones will keep our bones nice and dense :wink:

seriously. they are now using it to treat bone degeneration in the elderly.


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[quote]Gumby said:
And if you are going to waste peoples time with your stupid questions, at least try to have grammar skills higher then that of a 7th grader.

READ DAMNIT! [/quote]


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Offlinenobhdy
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: nobhdy]
    #6348552 - 12/08/06 06:56 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

just thought of something. with the terraforming of a WHOLE NEW PLANET brings about people and nations wanting conquest. how would we divide mars up? or would we all live together?
i think it might revert back to a world war over mars...


--------------------
[quote]Gumby said:
And if you are going to waste peoples time with your stupid questions, at least try to have grammar skills higher then that of a 7th grader.

READ DAMNIT! [/quote]


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: nobhdy]
    #6348614 - 12/08/06 07:16 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

We form a coalition government.  :smirk:


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: nobhdy]
    #6348617 - 12/08/06 07:16 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

We form a coalition government.  :smirk:


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: Diploid]
    #6348655 - 12/08/06 07:28 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

We form a coalition government.
We form a coalition government.





you keep saying that but do you mean it?  :wink:


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Invisiblesleepy
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: Asante]
    #6349118 - 12/08/06 10:11 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

lets colonize the midwest


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OfflineHypercube
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: sleepy]
    #6349675 - 12/09/06 01:21 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Gravity would be a problem, but not for the reasons stated above.  Preferential escape of molecules from the atmosphere would occur, because they are not being held to the planet as tightly.  This is what (probably) happened to the (probably) significant atmosphere Mars (probably) had in the first place, and what has happened to most of the planet's hydrosphere.....(probably) :grin:

The first step in terraforming Mars, IMO, is establishing a dense atmosphere.  One reason being, a lot of Mars has pressures below the triple point of water (0.61 kPa), where liquid water cannot exist.  Even at 1kPa (~1% of Earth's pressure), water boils at 7 degrees C.

Thus, you need an atmosphere to A) establish a greenhouse affect to warm the planet, B) protect organisms from incident solar radiation and C) to avail liquid water to the surface.

Perhaps you could manufacture enough megatons of gas to contribute to the atmosphere, but will it stay on the planet or escape into space?

Hmmmm, things to think about....I mean if the planet does warm, we've got tons upon tons of CO locked up as ice at the poles that would melt and pervade the air.....not a nice situation if you want to go outside to take the fish-dog for a walk with your cyborg wife....
:biggrin:

Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) Mars has low mantle heating and convection rates.  That is to say, the one continent Mars does have isn't being subducted by (or subducting) anything.  Well, atmospheric CO2 is balanced in the atmosphere through a negative feedback loop in which subduction carries CO2 in solid form back into the planet for recycling through volcanic outgassing, back into the atmosphere.  I'm thinking that eventually the active volcanoes are going to die out, leaving us with no CO2 on the planet.

But I guess by that time (10's of millions of years), if meta-human organisms are still around to farm spice on Mars for trade to Europan colonies, we will have figured out gas concentration maintenance.

Fascinating thought experiment, this!


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OfflineCarbon_Black
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Re: "Sparking" a biosphere on Mars [Re: Hypercube]
    #6354989 - 12/10/06 07:14 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

I've had an oversimplified, unscientific answer to making mars inhabitable since I was a wee little boy; pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere to begin global warming, the frozen planetary CO2 would sublimate catalyzing the greenhouse effect until water transitioned to a liquid phase.  Then plant life/microorganisms could survive and bring stability to the system.  Eventually an equilibrium could be achieved with enough CO2 to keep the distant (from sun) planet at earth-temperature-range.  Ok, maybe some science is involved.  :smirk:

*just read some of the thread, and what i'm saying was said
o-well  :rasta:


--------------------
As Sure As The Sun Will Shine


Edited by Carbon_Black (12/10/06 07:15 PM)


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