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Ags

Time to terraform Mars?

63 posts in this topic

On 17/07/2017 at 14:45, Paul M said:

 

If there were any Cosmic Police they'd likely give us prohibition notice regarding any ideas for Mars. 

May be they are just waiting for the right moment!

2017-07-20 11.23.15.png

2017-07-20 11.24.09.png

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14 hours ago, 101nut said:

I'm not sure why there's even a discussion about terraforming mars. It is patently obvious that man is unable to control the environment on the Earth - its temperature or CO concentration - so how is man supposed to make significant but controlled driving change to an alien environment on a planetary scale? 

AndyG

I'm afraid you're being short-sighted. At the moment, we cannot. But what about in 100 years time? 500 years time? You simply cannot predict what our race will be able to achieve (nor, admittedly what our ambitions to achieve will be). In fact, even today, some have started building large-scale plants to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/air-scrubbing-plant-begins-operations/

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Terraforming Mars would be a stop gap measure as Mars will become uninhabitable about the same time as Earth when the Sun expands. In the shorter term we will not achieve much by living on Mars.

Perhaps we need to concentrate efforts on interstellar travel to a system where the star has a few more billion years more life left than the Sun.

There's no rush though!

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Never mind Mars, we should be working towards building O'Neil colonies, as he mapped out in "The High Frontier" yes it's optimistic (Boo, hiss) but there's no un-do-able technology there, it just needs us to pull together.

At the moment we have all our eggs in one basket, there are too many ways in which our civilisation could be wiped out, or even we could be extincted.

And a reminder that our civilisation developed from using fossil fuels and minerals. Once we fall there is nothing for a successor to use. They will have to wait several tens of millions of years for them to be replaced.

We need to harden and diversify.

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Posted (edited)

I think we are being a wee bit modest here at limiting ourselves to terra forming. Why not set our sights on building a new planet that we can propel through space with some new propulsion system that we or our AI robots have devised, we could create an artificial sun that we could tow behind us at a save distance. :)

 

Jim

 

 

Edited by saac

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27 minutes ago, Shibby said:

I'm afraid you're being short-sighted. At the moment, we cannot. But what about in 100 years time? 500 years time? You simply cannot predict what our race will be able to achieve (nor, admittedly what our ambitions to achieve will be). In fact, even today, some have started building large-scale plants to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/air-scrubbing-plant-begins-operations/

I don't agree. The link you show uses energy from waste burning to concentrate CO2 but only to pump it into a greenhouse (or "deposit it on a filter", whatever that means) ... that is not necessarily efficient as the energy is required in the first place ... In addition your 'large scale' is only 900 tonnes per year - in reality 9 billion tonnes per year would be more appropriate and the energy input for that would be unsustainable ... As I said, until we have the ability to do it on relatively small scale on Earth we can't even consider doing it elsewhere.

AndyG

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4 minutes ago, 101nut said:

until we have the ability to do it on relatively small scale on Earth we can't even consider doing it elsewhere

Well, now I agree with you. The Swiss plant is only a pioneering step - as I said, in 500 years time (if we're still around) who is to say what's possible?

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Leave Mars alone. We don't need to terraform it. But we do need to diversify.

Although the average life expectancy of a mammalian species is about 2my, whether that applies to one that is self-aware and can control its enviroment is still open to question. Which means we should be planning for the long term. In the long term we only have about 500my before we need to move on.

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3 minutes ago, DaveS said:

Leave Mars alone. We don't need to terraform it. But we do need to diversify.

Although the average life expectancy of a mammalian species is about 2my, whether that applies to one that is self-aware and can control its enviroment is still open to question. Which means we should be planning for the long term. In the long term we only have about 500my before we need to move on.

No rush then :grin:

Dave

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I agree we should leave Mars alone, the other side of the Moon seems to me to be a better prospect ( well an astronomer would say that wouldnt he LOL )

As for CO2, - New Scientist did a good write up some while ago on the various (potential)methods of scrubbing the atmosphere (" artificial trees" ) but that might have to wait upon fusion power.

At the risk of being controversial :- what's wrong with CO2 in the air, it has been much much higher in the past. The dinosaurs coped quite well for a while, it makes crops grow better faster to feed the burgeoning millions,,  I think we as a race just like doomsday scenarios and fings to worry about. Remember the doomsayers of the 70's when oil was about to run out ? now we have too much and the producers want to limit it to keep the price up -  it's a mad world , ice age was imminent Ha!

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Posted (edited)

Considering all the Freon® and other gaseous atrocities we've made and such - we'd 'terraform' Mars quite quickly! The temperature would rise exponentially, the air would become unbreathable, CO2 levels skyrocketing - it would be "Paradise" in no time at all!

Now all we need do is make it cost billions of $$$£££'s to be the "chosen-one's" to take part in this luxurious mission (promising mansions to all who volunteer to go, and Lobster-Thermidor for breakfast, and....) and let "nature take it's course."

Remember the R.M.S. Titanic?

(Then we can clean-up this stinking plasticized mess they left behind!)

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont
sp.
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9 billion tons of landfill! Imagine the great things we could have achieved with that wasted industrial capacity.

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If we did ever set up bases on Mars or the Moon and found all that plastic we would think all our Christmases had come at once, it would be so useful as a resource. In response to AI it has the advantage of being able to run through thousands of generations a day so it only needs a tiny first step.

Alan

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