Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2014 01:01 pm
I see that some of the soil data is being used to calculate n energy budget to generate CO2 in order to compute what it would take to "terraform" mars, should the sun go haywire
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Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2014 01:29 am
There are several problems with terraforming Mars. One is nitrogen. Saturn's moon Titan is 98% nitrogen in its stratosphere, and Saturn is, relatively speaking, nearby--so robbing Titan to pay Mars might be a solution. The real problems for making it habitable for humans, though, is the CO2 and the atmospheric pressure. There's way too much of the former, and not nearly enough of the latter. These are basic problems which will need to be dealt with before anyone can begin to think of terraforming Mars.

After that, there's the problem of cosmic radiation. If humans want to colonize Mars, they may have to spend the first several centuries underground, or expend huge resources to be in shielded rovers whenever they plan to spend long periods of time on the surface. Talk about a bad sounburn!
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2014 05:11 am
since terraforming is an artificial process, Im sure we can use a number of available and maybe inert gases to keep an artificial air pressure high enough.(A trick Ive seen was to use a small amount of SF6) Nitrogen , as used in C4 plants , could be made as an upper atmospheric conversion from Co2 into N13 (by the very cosmic rays that we worry about). Ultimately we will need a certain amount to be available to plants and I think that Rover is already showing a sizeable amount of Na NO3 and NaH(NO3)2. What on Mars is probably mostly still there as salts in old lake pans and stream beds.

The structurs that are able to deflect incoming radiation is another thing nd underground living may be a nice alternative . Sorta like the opal fields in Oz.
Ive seen that a proposal was for some "Mars made" pressure formed "concrete" block that is made by really squeezing the **** out of a specific mineral mix and making the connate water act as the "glue bond"

I see lots of equipment and structural material being brought up and kept from oxidizing or abrading until it can be used, that's gonna be a problem that needs some thinking about also.
I don't think water will be a big problem because of all the connate water in the minerals they've already found and the possibility that much water till resides underground (we hope)
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2014 05:24 am
I've read that many atmospheric gases will be available in mineral deposits, including nitrogen. But if you can get to Mars, Titan isn't that far off. As for water, the main component of Saturn's rings is water ice. We just have to wait until the big dude is lookin' the other way, and swipe some of it.
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Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2014 05:42 am
You should go to the library and pick up the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson--Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. I'm not qualified to judge the accuracy of what he writes, but i think that either he is a rock hound, or he got some good input from someone in the know. A lot of it has to do with areology. One of the principle characters is Ann Clayborne, who more or less becomes the patron saint of the "Reds," those who are opposed to the terraforming of Mars. She's an American geologist.
Reply Tue 11 Mar, 2014 07:58 am
It may not be an issue of whether its a good idea. Unless other planets withn the "goldilocks zone' at the time of the suns exhaustion of its HYDROGEN and when it starts burning HELIUM, we will all need to move a few feet out of the ring of the Big Broil.

Maybe, by more missions, Titan or Europa even will be somewhat more hospitable as the sun reaches further out during the last billion years or so.
By the time we may need to worry (save an errant hit by an Apophis or similar asteroid), about the sun, itll be about 3 billion years from now and you and I will be no more inconvenienced than we were before we were born.
I just like to ruminate over "Stuff" where we can use resources , gifts from the various planetary geology banks and to convert them to products and infrastructure that can sustain for us, a comfortable life. I think that
1. Whenever fusion technology is a given and workable tech, we will be able to easily make products by fusion (just as the early universe could create all other elements from Hydrogen , Helium, lithium, and Beryllium)

2. We have to think 1000 years and more ahead when we will use what WILL be available technologies then as opposed to what we are limited to in our present bag of tricks.

3. Ill bet, in another million years, we will be able to actually create an ARTIFICIAL SUN by compacting a super dense ball of H/He and, depending on its sustainability, either use it as a Sol or as a creator of elements for using in our Terraforming lab.

I think that horizons of creativity arise as a function of need. As we see the number of these near earth objects whizzing by, we will soon start saying that
Hey,we can get these things out of our way by either messing with theor orbits and using Jupiter as a big vacuum cleaner, or (more dangerously) busting them up so that, when theor conservation of momentum still showers us with chunks, they will only give us a light show.
Then, after that, Sometime in the next few million years, some wag will then start considering the "end of the sun's life " and our place in a more lonely universe, as our galaxy is left alone and burning out.
(Of course, we will have to, sometime in the nxt tens of million of years, consider that Andromeda and the Milky Way are going to hve a meet-up at high velocity)

Right now, we are mere tadpoles in the frogpond.

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