Living on Mars
On the surface, the red planet’s freeze-dried world of rocks, ice, and dust looks like an unlikely place to plant a garden.
But rocks and minerals found by the Mars rovers show it must once have had warmer, habitable living conditions.
Now, using photo-realistic CGI visualizations, we’ll make a science fiction dream of Mars - a world of trees, rivers, and blue skies - a plausible future, bringing it to life after three-and-a-half billion years in a deep freeze.
The first and most important step in making Mars habitable is to warm it up, raising the average temperature 35 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. (Average Mars temperature is about -81 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Bold concepts on how to warm up Mars range from detonating hydrogen bombs and guiding space rocks on a collision course with Mars to setting up little factories on the planet whose intent is to produce greenhouse gases.
Much of the new Mars would be an icy world, like summer above the Arctic Circle, with atmospheric pressure equivalent to a mountain twice the height of Mt. Everest.
The next step is turning Mars green and producing a breathable atmosphere, which will be a much longer and more difficult process.
Lichen and moss, which thrive on carbon dioxide, will be the first imports of plant life from Earth, perhaps 50 to 100 years after warming begins. They build soil, create more nutrients and pave the way for grass and woody shrubs.
Once established, Martian forests will spread on their own, improving the soil and the atmosphere, creating a livable world for more than just plants.
It could take 100,000 years for trees to transform an icy blue Mars with a carbon dioxide atmosphere into a warm, green planet with enough oxygen for humans to breathe.
A fully terraformed Mars may never be as warm and wet as Earth because it’s too small and too far from the sun. Low elevations where the atmosphere is thicker and regions near the equator will be the warmest.
Ha ha. If you're lucky enough to read my comment, don't waste your time on... *alternative fuel* wink wink.
Just from the summary, you know it does NOT address the main problem with Mars:
it's NOT low temperatures
it's NOT low atmospheric pressure
it's NOT atmosphere composition (either now or future, doesn't matter)
it's NOT scarcity of water
it's NOT whatever irrelevant problems the filmers (sic) address
The problem with Mars is NO MAGNETIC FIELD!
There's no solution to that with current (read "up to 100 000 years from now), so calm down and eat your cookies.
Hear that, musky guy?
Why are we moving to mars when life is perfect here?
It is high time the planet should mobilise its financial resources in terraforming other planets, not for wars and nuclear weapons! We seem to forget how small we are in the universe!
How are they going to build a dome? Wouldn't gravity make it impossible for the construction materials to stick together?
Perhaps they should also be sending people that have already adapted to thin oxygen where other people develop hypoxia and continue the evolution of these people while working on planting moss from the artic ect to attempt to build a more friendly environment there.
Indigenous highlanders living in the Andean Altiplano in South America, in the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, and at the highest elevations of the Ethiopian Highlands in east Africa have evolved three distinctly different biological adaptations for surviving in the oxygen-thin air found at high altitude.
How do you eat, and actaully live on mars though?
how would we handle radiation problems?
Exploring Mars for the purpose of human colonization is the smartest thing we can do. In many ways. It is said, that we should be a multi-planet species. It makes sense, if we rely on just our planet, what happens when that day comes where, we've used up all of our resources and have become over-populated? instead of just waiting for that day to come, which, China already faces, we should just spread out. Let people decide whether or not they wish to become citizens elsewhere. Be it, a floating city in space, or a colony on the moon/ mars. Think about how many jobs it would create anyway. It would be reminiscent to the day the New World was discovered, but on a MUCH larger scale.
the video ain't working
The sky is already blue and the soil is not very red. it's more tan, like the Arizona desert.
Terraforming mars is just a mindplay, would be a cute daydream or topic of conversation when you're really bored if not for the fact that current precious resources are beeing invested into it's exploration, just becouse the media puts accent on this red chunk of rock. Sure, life might have existed there, but sending robots there to check should suffice.
In my opinion, the moon and overcomming our surrounding radiation belt should be our main focus space-exploration wise. Would be logical to take "small" but ferm steps considering our resources are limited.
If exploring all of earth's undiscovered species is not mentaly satisfying enough, and really want to look for life or signs of extinction/formation of it in our solar sistem, then my bet would be on Europa rather then Mars.
However, penetrating Titan's atmosphere will grant us accces to oceans of fuel, and would improve our chances to succesfully thrive and explore in more detail the above mentioned (provided no real alternative energy solution is found).
Perhaps if we survive as species long enough, and catch the sun's expansion, earth would become too hot, and the new goldielocks zone would be set around Mars (perhaps it happend in the past?). Nice and optimistic scenarios to think of :)
Or, if you really want to go wild about it, why not adopt Arthur C. Clarke's ideea and transform Jupiter into our second sun, and thus forming an artificial binary solar sistem and in turn create more life sustaining planets?
I think of such things every now and then, but each time I do it, I can't help but amuse myself of how limitless human arrogance and ignorance is.
good show thx
my name is Kendon Ares, I am a descendant of the first colonists of this world who all took the same surname. It is 2255 and I am 26 yrs old (earth) and I am 4.31 meters tall, due to the lower gravity. I was fortunate enough to survive my birth as my mother was also native-born and her pulmonary system was adapted (so many of the new-arrivals do not deliver). My chest size is 75 cm because of the atmospheric pressure and my beagle stands at 36 cm. If I went to earth, I would collapse in pain and probably die. Welcome to terraformed Mars. We are a new species.
glad they finally mentioned the lack of geothermic activity didn't think they would get to it. wander if they could use haarp to kick start it and cold fusion labs once that gets off they groud could produce oxygen faster
@ Tommy Gunz Sorry but we really would be better off not curing cancer... can you imagine the population if everyone lived to 100...just insane...we need to die a natural death and go meet Jesus or Ahlah ...that is the natural course of life!
In respect to the microbes as well we should watch to see if there is life and use it as a STUDY tool to figure out our own genesis secrets. A 2nd genesis could solve cancer.
Well its all well and good, but without a magnetosphere mars would continue to lose its atmosphere. Not to mention what would happen to us in a solar storm if we were on the planet.
I don't agree that we should leave Mars to the "Martians". We don't have any "responsibility" towards microbes, for crying out loud. Just because they have the potential to evolve into something with intelligence over millions of years, doesn't make them sacred.
What a waste of taxpayers money.
Who the hell wants to live on Mars?
The scientists say the world will end in 2012. Anyways can we really trust what they are saying here.
They have to invent something to take government money.
Who cares if the human race will be wiped out in the future?
They can't fix earth and are worried about Mars.
The excuse that they will mine minerals on Mars.
If they do fix Mars; the only ones that would live there would be the rich, and the politicians to escape the destruction they did to earth.
@Waldo; Hang in there man! Go get it done and come back for some more intellectual slap-fighting here on topdocs.
@Achems; Me too, I have a well established love hate relationship with humanity. Some say it is an unhealthy relationship so I got a dog. Nothin but love there.
Good luck with your major, hope everything falls into place for ya.
Earths oceans were once red with iron oxide as well. It should have time to settle and be buried by a few layers of sediment in the time scale they are looking at from beginning of the project to actual habitation and seeding of animal life.
@ Reasons Voice
"The world needs idiots... Just not as many as we have !"
~ Ed the Sock (MuchMusic)~
we should be flying by now, instead of killing each other, over and over.
If we could terraform Mars into an Earth like place there still would be one big problem preventing the onset and sustainability of life,.. iron oxide(rust). This oxidation product which gives Mars it's red color would be impossible to control leaching out of the surface rocks into the new waters turning them blood red and highly toxic,..
Iron oxide is an enzyme inhibitor and the reason why few multicellular creatures can survive within rusty water.
just a thought...
@ Reasons voice
I have no issue with gun ownership, under sensible conditions though. I have issue with the exact lack of gun control in Arizona, and that they are pushing for even less control. Besides, I differ with Brewer on a host of issues, but thats for another day.
I am sure I will be back. I am being overly dramatic cause I am stressed about other things. I just need to lay low for awhile and get some home work done. Thanks all, peace.
You got that right, sometimes I actually hate people, well for a while anyway. (LOL)
I took the test, and it recommended the job I left to go to school, computer programming- that's incouraging?! Actually I worked in service for Motorola, supporting network equiptment, for like eight years before school (boring). It also recommended engineering so I can look into that more I guess. Thaks again- Oh, it says i am a INTJ type as well, what does that mean? Nevermind, we are way off topic. I'll look it up.
@Achems just did that test and am an "IMFJ" type. A good test but flawed as all tests are by limitations and generalities. For instance I would probably be less introverted if the outside world wasn't full of imbeciles. LOL
@Waldo; I truely hope that you do not leave the site. You are one of my favorite commenters. You do have the Jan brewer thing wrong though. In fact Gabby herself voted in favor of protecting second ammendment rights on multiple occasions. No sure as to any connection between the two individuals though. It's just that you do see the destructive diviciveness of government but then support it with that statement. The attack and manipulation of this issue orrigionated from the left and the anti gun movement, with no regard for the victims stance on the issue.
Any-who.. Don't go Waldo need ya here. As for the world comming together ever; I have my doubts. Even if it were a time of crisis (perhaps especially in time of crisis). Look at the events that follow natural disaster or political upheaval. Looting, Rape, Murder, and total abandonement of civilized behavior. One man who has known a shop owner his whole life may kill that shopkeeper after an earthquake over something as simple as the last can of beans. I am actually glad so many docs. and movies are being made about "end of days scenarios" since maybe by the time one comess people will be desensitized and apathetic enough not to eat eachother like rats on a sinking ship.
Good test, took it years back, re-did it just now, again says am a strong "INTJ" type.
@ achem, ProudinUS, and Miau
Once again, you guys are right. I suppose I just need a break. To some of us posting here and discussing opinions in other formats and venues is something we do in passing, it really doesn't matter. But for people like me that have dedicated their life to rational open discussion the insults and closed minded rhetoric can get very discouraging at times. I am sure I will eventually see a comment or documentary that I feel I must say something about, that is my nature. But for now I need a break, besides the spring quarter just started and I am swamped.
This is my last quarter at my current school, then I tranferr to a much larger and more intense institution. I can't believe I am half way through my second round at college, I obtained a degree in theology and western civs right after highschool, but found the degrees pretty much useless. I have to figure out what exactly I am majoring in this quarter as well. I have been taking required courses so far, but it is time to declare a major and start taking courses geared toward that degree specifically. I have shifted between physics, mechanical engineering, and archaeology. But I am still undecided really, I want to do what I love but also have a practicle degree for my area. Any way the stress is starting to boil over into my comments here and conversations with people I know. So I am going to chill for awhile, but I am sure I will be back sooner or later. Thanks for the words of encouragement, they were much needed this morning.
Everybody learns from all the viewpoints on this site, I have learned a lot of stuff from you.
Nobody is giving you the gears Waldo, unless you let them, nobody is picking on you.
So are you going to go away in defeat? Shame! Com'on man, pick yourself up!
I understand. I also see this in every public debate. The only reason that I can think of that would explain it - it may be some sort of remnant in our genes - need to compete and dominate and to preserve ourselves. But I believe in order to move our society forward we should abandon such approach as it only creates chaos and hatred. It is the opposite of cooperation and dignity.
Yes, don't let them get you down. :) I find your posts inspiring.
Hey man. Don't let them get you down .Some of us learn alot from your comments!
No offense mate, but I am done commenting on this site. I can't stand the "I am smarter than you" attitude that runs rampant, not to mention the petty insults from people I would'nt wipe my arse with. I am not referring to you in any way, its all about things in the past and on other threads. And in reality its not this site alone, every site like this one is the same. You go on and post your opinion- for what. So people can insult you and mistake your point and trip all over themselves trying to look more intelligent than the next guy. I am done. Peace!
Miau seems to not realise that it is GRAVITY which holds an atmosphere to it's planet. The magnetosphere protects from cosmic rays. LOL Anyways,Assuming we could pull this off, it wouldn't last, because mars has no tectonic processes. We COULD however use kinetic energy and impact mars(as some scientists theorise)with a very large, dense missile. A solid mass, after orbiting the solar system gaining EXTREME velocity, could then impact mars at just the right angle, and in the opposing direction of it's axis, and thus "gouge" mars, much as the Earth was in the cataclysm which formed the moon, and ignite the geothermal reaction, just as it did here, billions of years ago. In essence,create a planetwide cataclysm and let the dust settle before terraforming begins, of course the sum of mass x velocity required to simulate the impact of a planet sized object may be beyond our industrial, technological, and cooperative capabilities.
Sure, I would like to, but I have been reprimanded a few times lately for getting off topic, in a polite enough way of course. So it would have to be under a documentary that was about that type of thing. Cheers!
@ waldo… Sorry, I did not mean to insinuate that you were suggesting I was an idi0t. I was just making the point that my head was not buried in the sand. I figured you would catch my point, we I do, the night sky on a moonlight night is more meaningful than ever stepping into a church. Clearly, you seem much more capable of abstract thought than our friend, I wish “MarsWayCool” would join this thread! Well I think if you want to discuss more existential concepts and theories we should watch some other documentaries & we should discuss!
@ waldo...I was did not mean to insinuate that you were suggesting I was an idiot...I was just making the point that my head was not buried in the sand. I figured you would catch my point, we I do, the night sky on a moonlight night is more meaningful than ever stepping into a church. Clearly, you seem much more capable of abstract thought than our friend, I wish "MarsWayCool" would join this thread! Well I think if you want to discuss more existential concepts and theories we should watch some other documentaries & we should discuss!
Those factories wouldn't be there to exploit any materials. They would be specifically built to pump out fluorocarbons to cause global warming.
@everyone saying save earth first and forget about mars...
The process of invention is driven by need. By looking at mars and saying we NEED this NOW, we may end up solving the problems of earth entirely with the same research and technology.
Even if we don't implement these technologies in the mars environment for hundreds of years, they may make a definite impact here, today.
As a matter of fact I suppose the stars and other planets could exist without Earth, but we could and would not exist without them, nor would the Earth as we know it- since after all it is only the "Earth" because we say it is. But now we are getting into the existential question of existance, now that is abstract.
I never meant to insinuate you were an id10t, after all I was the one who didn't get it. Abstract(?), not really. Though if we want to get really specific we owe as much to the stars and planets as we do the Earth. None of the above could exist without the others, and niether would we.
Mulitnational corporations using government money to set up factories on Mars with no environment laws against CO2 emissions and lax workers rights might be possible if there are marketable resources available.
To get things started, the engines of the spacecraft that land on Mars would have to be easily convertable to power plants as well as habitats using, in large part, local resources
Excuse me... "WayCool" label saved ... typo
@ Waldo I suppose it is the paradox between his name and the obviously fatalistic paradigm he has? Wouldn't you would think a guy who owes EVERYTHING to this planet would not have his "cool" label saver for something a little closer to home??? Perhaps that is too abstract for you? I agree the earth and people will continue on I am not an idi0t, but I wonder how hard it will be for us to maintain this consumptive nature of modern man? So I supposed to answer your question directly, it was probably the tone of apathy that lead to the comment!
I don't get it, what is so cavalier about pointing out that he thinks the earth will be destroyed in a few hundred years? I am not sure I agree, I think earth will be fine, its man that very well may be destroyed. But, I don't see his comment as cavalier. Can you explain what is so bold about his statement?
O.K. they clearly do address the issue of having no protection from cosmic influences that would strip the atmosphere, I can't believe so many people either missed it or didn't watch the whole doc. They say that it would take tens of thousands of years for it to have any significant effect on the atmosphere they want to create. Of course that begs the question, what would we do about cosmic radiation, especially from sun storms? These storms could destroy all electrical devices and give anyone not protected a massive dose of radiation. There is constant cosmic radiation raining down on all planets in the solar system, so a storm would be a concentrated dose but we would have a constant exposure issue as well. A ozone layer would be part of the atmosphere they want to create. This would remove some UV radiation, but is not enough protection all on its own.
One thing we all seem to be overlooking however is that Mars does still have a weak magnetic field as well as a recently mapped ionosphere which does reflect some solar radiation. The the MARSIS mission mapped this ionosphere and found that in several places the magnetic field lines are running perpendicular to the surface of Mars, much like our North and South poles. In these regions one would expect to see auroras at times, like we have here on earth. Here is a breakdown of our ionosphere and what it absorbs:
"The ionosphere is broken down into the D, E and F regions. The breakdown is based on what wavelength of solar radiation is absorbed in that region most frequently.
The D region is the lowest in altitude, though it absorbs the most energetic radiation, hard x-rays. The D region doesn't have a definite starting and stopping point, but includes the ionization that occurs below about 90km.
The E region peaks at about 105km. It absorbs soft x-rays.
The F region starts around 105km and has a maximum around 600km. It is the highest of all of the regions. Extreme ultra-violet radiation (EUV) is absorbed there."
The MARSIS mission has mapped the day side of Mars and is moving to the dark side to see what it may, in fact I think it has mapped both hemispheres by now. Though they say the ionosphere is not as thick nor as effective as ours here on Earth it does exist and so does a very weak magnetic field. In my opinion we should be able to create our own localized magnetic fields around certain areas as well. Here is what wikipedia has to say on the subject:
"The Mars Odyssey spacecraft carried an instrument, the Mars Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE), to measure the dangers to humans. MARIE found that radiation levels in orbit above Mars are 2.5 times higher than at the International Space Station. Average doses were about 22 millirads per day (220 micrograys per day or 0.08 gray per year.) A three year exposure to such levels would be close to the safety limits currently adopted by NASA. Levels at the Martian surface would be somewhat lower and might vary significantly at different locations depending on altitude and local magnetic fields."
As you can see they say that even in orbit, which exposes you to more than being on the surface, you can last about three years before the dosage gets too high. Taking that into consideration and the fact that we can create local magnetic fields in some areas, limit time outside, and use shielding in our buildings and homes- I would say this issue does not kill the idea of colonizing the planet at all. In my opinion we should give NASA more credit than what we do at times, they have achieved some amazing things. Yes, they suffer from bureaucracy issues, and ego gets in the way of good sound science at times, but they have still managed to do things that no other agency or entity on this planet has ever achieved.
@ MarsWayCool Sad comment...I wish your name was "EarthWayCool!" Perhaps you would not be so caviler in your comments???
No, I haven't stopped trying to organize effective resistance to the status qou. I must admit that I am no where near as optimistic about its success as I used to be though. Right now I am organizing a group in my area under the "No Labels" slogan. It is a movement that seeks to do away with ideology and labels and have each politician judge each issue on its own merits, with no preconcieved ideas about how to handle things. We also want each voter to analyze each candidate on their own merits and record and not simply vote for someone because they are the candidate for the party you support.
Lately we have all become aware of the violence that is threatening our democratic (well, its suppose to be democratic anyway) system. The shootings in Arizona have brought the violence issue to the fore front of almost everyones minds. I have to say I have been very disapointed in the blatant and disgusting attempts by certain peoples to use this for political gain, while at the same time refusing to take any responsibility for the hate filled unprodcutive partisanship that has devided our politicians and citizens into seperate ideological camps.
Jan Brewer for instance should be ashamed of herself, as well as removed from office as soon as possible. How dare she call herself Gabby's friend and at the same time support the very gun laws that help to facilitate the shooting as well as seek to fill Gabby's seat with a member of the opposite party. She is not the only culprit, Palin has used this issue for her own gain as well, trying to portray herslef as a victim while we have people dead and in the hospital that were actually shot is disgusting. Her and the entire right's refusal to accept any blame is also ridiculous. This isolated incident may very well have had nothing to do with their hate filled violent rhetoric, but surely we can all agree that it creates an atmosphere in which eventually someone will take their second amendment referrences seriousely. What then? It will be too late to take it back. The truth is these people do not care, as long as they enflame their base and gain a few political points they would put their own children at risk.
If man is to ever achieve goals like those portrayed in this documentary he must first learn not to charge the atmosphere with violent rhetoric and exaggeration against opponents. He must learn that no one group nor political party can own the world and have it all their way, that is impossible. The key to success is always cooperation, and seeing the problems at hand from as many different perspectives as possible. Right now we seem to have both sides pushing for extreme outcomes, one wanting to grow government to an unusual and no doubt unproductive size and regulate everything to death, the other wanting to remove all regulations and hand the well being of the world over to profiteers and religious exlusionists who would do away with science and reason and deny the obvious to make another dollar. I truly believe sanity and our continued survival lies in the middle with moderation that comes about by having "No Labels".
As far as the terraforming issue of having no magnetic shielding, surely these guys thought of that. I can't beleive they would leave out such an central issue to the problem at hand. I have yet to watch the entire doc. so I will wait to see if they address this issue before the end somehow. I had always imagined a terraformed planet having huge bubbles of some sort and all life and activity taking place inside such bubbles. Thats the way all the futurists have drawn the terraformed land scape so maybe thats where I got the image in my head. When one thinks about it though that would be a enormouse engineering challenge, to build a bubble large enough that would never collapse or run the risk of being shattered by debris or micro meteorites from a translucent material. I will post again after watching all of the doc.
Within a few hundred years Earth will be destroyed.
Why not fix our own planet first before destroying Mars?