TransformerRobot

Terraforming nearby planets

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I think the global population is expected to plateau at around 9 billion by 2050. Something like that anyway. And many countries are below replacement level. I really don't think a Malthusian runaway population explosion is going to happen. The lower birth rates are correlated with quality of life, education, opportunities women, and the like. As far as causation, I think there is actually a pretty good case for economic and social development (e.g., human rights, democratic structures, secular public education, equality of women, etc.) as the best means for stabilizing population. I'm pretty sure there is good evidence supporting this thinking.

The ludicrously immense resources that would be required to ship millions of people off to the Martian ghetto (a futile endeavor btw) would be better spent on developing infrastructure and quality of life on Earth.

 

If we're discussing something as far-fetched as a Martian exodus I'd just say that my fantasy for world-improvement would be the disbanding of all the world's militaries and the use of those resources for pure science, humanitarianism, and environmentalism. Call me a romantic.

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condoms or contraceptives won't be used by everyone, for example different religions won't allow them

 

And those nut-jobs wonder where AIDS came from. It's like science and religion really can't mix. *facepalm*

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Moontanman    1949

What is the attraction for terraforming?

 

  • It is too far in the future. Want some laughs? Dig up some Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1950s where they try to predict fifty years into the future. They got almost everything wrong. Trying to predict 100 years or more into the future now is even more of a laughable endeavor. The world is changing at an even faster pace now than it was in the 1950s.
     
  • It is fraught with political peril. Politicians have a hard time committing to anything long-term. This is a very long-term project.
     
  • It is fraught with economic peril. Terraforming would be a massively expensive venture. Once started, it would have to be followed through to completion without interruption. A multi-year hiatus due to some future economic collapse could easily set the project back to step one.
     
  • It is fraught with ecological peril on Earth. What if life is discovered on Mars? This is a huge uncertainty, and a huge risk. Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars faction is somewhat real right now, and would become very real should life be discovered on Mars.
     
  • It is fraught with ecological peril on Mars. The focus of most terraforming articles is on the physics and chemistry. The messy biological issues are just hand-waved away. Ask a biologist for their opinions on the viability of those proposed terraforming efforts.
     
  • It isn't scalable. Instead it's an all or nothing kind of venture. Habitats are scalable. Exploiting asteroids is scalable.

 

Terraforming is counterproductive to the goal of a permanent human presence in space, at least for the foreseeable future. Terraforming is a project for two or more generations into the future. Leave that problem to them. Our problem now is to get a start on that permanent human presence in space so that the people two or more generations in the future have a chance at that.

 

That's assuming that our successors two or three generations into the future will even want to terraform another planet. Why go back down into a deep gravity well once we've learned how to reliably and safely get out of one on a regular basis?

 

 

If we ever do "terraform" a planet it will most likely be far after we have colonized space. After we perfect space habitats, cylinder, torus, or however we do it, our future lies in the direction of space but at some point some agency or group might as a nostalgic after thought try to transplant life on Mars. I think in the end we will domesticate all of life and like we carried our cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, and goats we will take life with us into space, possibly space habitats that contain huge areas of tame wilderness...

Edited by Moontanman

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CaptainPanic    1153

The moons of Mars

The moons of Mars are too small to have any influence on that planet at all. Forget about those moons.

 

The reason is that Deimos is only 1.48×1015 kg, Phobos is 1.072×1016 kg, while our own moon is 7.3477 × 1022 kg. Note how our moon is well over a MILLION times as heavy.

 

The influence of moons on the planet they orbit is because of gravity. The moons of Mars are so small, than you might as well pretend they're not there at all.

 

Overpopulation

All of you are totally ignoring the argument by D H (here). Overpopulation is an argument against terraforming other planets (because we'd be wasting resources on space exploration rather than problems at home).

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space noob    2

And those nut-jobs wonder where AIDS came from. It's like science and religion really can't mix. *facepalm*

 

Actually some of them believe that aids was created in a lab as a biological weapon....

 

You have to consider too that these people in poor countries that are having lots of children, they use far less oil in there life time than us, they eat no where near as much food as us, I bet we cause much more pollution and we still have 2-3 kids in most families, I'd say we, are the biggest cause to the the damage of this planet much more than compared to people in 3rd world countries, most of these people die young and spend their lives hungry and own only a few clothes,

 

I think we should set up a self energy officiant small society which people can move into free of will and slowly build on it and hopefully it will become a large scale project

Edited by space noob

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CaptainPanic    1153

Shall we get back on topic?

 

I don't see how AIDS, or the ecological footprint of Western people has anything to do with terraforming other planets.

I say that because I think it is obvious that there are no deposits of oil, and the whole fossil economy will not work on another planet. Therefore, sustainable is the only way to go on another planet.

 

 

By the way, I'm not speaking as a moderator. We have a rule that you either participate, or you moderate. Not both.

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Well I said Mars in the beginning because it was the closest planet to Earth, besides Venus, that wouldn't be completely hostile to humans when they landed on it.

 

So terraforming Mars might not work now because of financial reasons, but as a century passes future generations will be able to do such a thing.

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space noob    2

Well economy seems to be going down hill, as well as resources, I don't see if it's not possible now it will struggle to do so i'm the future, basically, I do think it it's possible now we have the ability to create the technology but no drive, a company has offered to put solar panels on the moon but no one has offered to terraform mars, we know how to do it what we lack is the drive to put a plan into action

 

Well we have the ability to do so providing the wobble is not too severe

Edited by space noob

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D H    1371
I do think it it's possible now we have the ability to create the technology

No, it's not. It's not even close. We have ideas on paper. The path from an idea on paper, Technology Readiness Level 1, to a system that has been successfully deployed and used, TRL 9, can be long and torturous, and oftentimes falters indefinitely. There are lots and lots of concepts that linger at TRL 1 to 3 indefinitely. NASA and the DoD support conferences dedicated to technologies at a perpetually low readiness level in the hope that some of them will advance. Occasionally NASA or the DoD spend inordinate amounts of monies on low TRL items, but this has almost always been a huge mistake. A single stage to orbit vehicle and a nuclear powered airplane are just a couple of examples of such mistakes. These mistakes were part of what drove NASA and the DoD to develop the concept of technology readiness.

 

Terraforming is at TRL 1, and it will stay at TRL 1 for a long, long time.

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Overpopulation

All of you are totally ignoring the argument by D H (here). Overpopulation is an argument against terraforming other planets (because we'd be wasting resources on space exploration rather than problems at home).

Not all. I strongly hold to the view expressed by D H on that subject.

 

This is a bit tangential, but I generally don't like to frame the issues in terms of "overpopulation." The problems tend to be scarcity of some kind, ineffective social organization, inappropriate resource utilization, underdevelopment, and so on. The big umbrella term "overpopulation" doesn't do much for me and I don't think that the good solution is to campaign for less people. From the exposure I've had to the issue I'd say it's a very complicated topic.

 

And damn it, people reproduce. Waste gargantuan resources blasting people off to Total Recall and in the meantime those people will be replaced. I mean, if that's the whole strategy. If the strategy involves other things then why not simplify it and forget about the extraneous space ghettos. I'm very much pro-freedom and all that but I think I would prefer draconian social controls to such an absurd and wasteful project.

 

P.S. In anticipation of the inevitable misinterpretation, I'm not denying the concept of overpopulation. I think the idea of carrying capacity is valid and that overpopulation can occur. I'm saying I think the concept is overused, generally too simplistic, of dubious applicability, and in the end not very useful. It's also a bit charged and has misanthropic connotations that may limit its usefulness for sociological reasons.

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doG    447

Just wondering, why would we waste the effort it would take to make another world habitable when we can't feed the population that exists on this one today? It reminds me of a video by Roy Beck that shows why immigration can never be a solution to help overpopulated, impoverished people. That the only way to really help them is at home.

 

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Just wondering, why would we waste the effort it would take to make another world habitable when we can't feed the population that exists on this one today? It reminds me of a video by Roy Beck that shows why immigration can never be a solution to help overpopulated, impoverished people. That the only way to really help them is at home.

Who is this in response to? I'm a terraforming enthusiast but I think I've made it clear that this doesn't imply the view that terraforming is particularly feasible or desirable in the near-term. This recurring objection is a straw man.

 

P.S. Also, the view that space colonization, including terraforming, has anything to do with offloading excess population from Earth is nonsensical.

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space noob    2

No, it's not. It's not even close. We have ideas on paper. The path from an idea on paper, Technology Readiness Level 1, to a system that has been successfully deployed and used, TRL 9, can be long and torturous, and oftentimes falters indefinitely. There are lots and lots of concepts that linger at TRL 1 to 3 indefinitely. NASA and the DoD support conferences dedicated to technologies at a perpetually low readiness level in the hope that some of them will advance. Occasionally NASA or the DoD spend inordinate amounts of monies on low TRL items, but this has almost always been a huge mistake. A single stage to orbit vehicle and a nuclear powered airplane are just a couple of examples of such mistakes. These mistakes were part of what drove NASA and the DoD to develop the concept of technology readiness.

 

Terraforming is at TRL 1, and it will stay at TRL 1 for a long, long time.

 

No, what I mean is we know it's a possibility, if we had the plans we could do it, , Russia is already setting up to send people to mars soon and daily trips into space by America, here in England we are planning ventures into space closer to the sun using solar power for a part of the journey and new deeper space stations than the ones that just orbit earth and asteroid defence systems

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doG    447

Who is this in response to? I'm a terraforming enthusiast but I think I've made it clear that this doesn't imply the view that terraforming is particularly feasible or desirable in the near-term. This recurring objection is a straw man.

 

P.S. Also, the view that space colonization, including terraforming, has anything to do with offloading excess population from Earth is nonsensical.

No one in particular. I just see it as a waste of available resources when there are people starving to death now. It would be nice to terraform other planets or moons as stepping stones away from Earth. I just don't see it as an affordable option right now or the near future. Then again, I don't understand why the fanciest, most glamorous building in the ghetto is usually the church, built with money taken from the poor and wasted on a place for the poor to worship while they starve.

 

It would seem to me that we could apply our efforts to advance technology to take care of mankind's needs before we pursue mankind's wants. I was simply pointing out my opinion on this priority.

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Moontanman    1949

No one in particular. I just see it as a waste of available resources when there are people starving to death now. It would be nice to terraform other planets or moons as stepping stones away from Earth. I just don't see it as an affordable option right now or the near future. Then again, I don't understand why the fanciest, most glamorous building in the ghetto is usually the church, built with money taken from the poor and wasted on a place for the poor to worship while they starve.

 

It would seem to me that we could apply our efforts to advance technology to take care of mankind's needs before we pursue mankind's wants. I was simply pointing out my opinion on this priority.

 

 

I am not sure I can agree with this, while I think Terra forming is probably not going to happen for many reasons the continued exploration and eventual exploitation of the solar system beyond the earth is going to pay off for everyone in the long term. New technologies, raw materials maybe manufactured goods as well. If we can build colony type artificial habitats orbiting the sun and utilizing the solar system as raw materials I can see reason to continue space travel, bringing things to the earth is much easier than taking them away.

 

The old invocation of the poor to make the statement that one doesn't value something or other. Noted.

 

 

If we just gave up warfare we could do both at the same time...

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doG    447

...the continued exploration and eventual exploitation of the solar system beyond the earth is going to pay off for everyone in the long term...

 

If we just gave up warfare we could do both at the same time...

I do agree with that but space exploration and exploitation is not the resource animal that terraforming is. I wholeheartedly support space exploration and research to the extent we can afford it.

 

Yes, the resources spent on war are really a waste without a proportionate reward. We do lose a despot here and there but the expense is tremendous.

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Moontanman    1949

I do agree with that but space exploration and exploitation is not the resource animal that terraforming is.

 

 

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "Resource Animal" No resources will ever be transferred to the Earth From Mars, no significant number of people will ever be taken there. Please elaborate.

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doG    447

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "Resource Animal" No resources will ever be transferred to the Earth From Mars, no significant number of people will ever be taken there. Please elaborate.

IMO, as an example, it would cost far more to terraform Mars than to simply explore Mars. I used 'resource animal' as a figure of speech for exorbitant cost.

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pantheory    43

Another idea I was thinking of for my alien character was that she is part of a new species created in a special laboratory, through the splicing of humans and another animal, so that whatever happens to us our genes will be carried on through them.

 

They would need a planet to live on near Earth, so I was thinking Mars, because Mars would be easier to work with than Venus.

 

How would we be able to terraform Mars, and when would we be able to do so?

 

I was thinking that we could use a device to heat up the surface of Mars, melting the CO2 below the surface, freeing it back into the atmosphere, causing a greenhouse effect to get more heat from the sun, melting the Martian ice, thus creating oceans. The only problem I've encountered now is restoring Mars' magnetic field.

Mars is one of the primary transforming possibilities within maybe a thousand years minimum. But I think the moon would be easier. The moon is the right distance from the sun and could be "spun up" as part of the terraforming process. Even though it probably has underground water, we probably would need to import much more from the outer moons or the asteroid belt. We probably could import an atmosphere of nitrogen, oxygen, and Co2 in the form of ices with sun shades needed as such ices are imported, also probably from the asteroid belt. My expectation would be that once there is an atmosphere, and a moon-spin fast enough, a magnetic field would almost immediately develop to shield from UV and other deleterious solar radiation. Without direct solar wind, I believe this atmosphere might last maybe thousands of years before needing to be replenished. Manufacturing processing could also produce a regular replenishment of these same molecular gasses.

 

As far as genetic alterations, I would expect that we would engineer both plant and animal life primarily for food purposes to start with, to be better adapted to live in a foreign environment. I would also expect Mars to immediately develop a magnetic field also once it has a substantial atmosphere.

 

Here's a couple of links that might give a clue concerning the possibility that our present model of Earth and Planetary magnetism may be wrong.

 

http://www.nature.co...ll/485319a.html

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531102443.htm

 

Venus, I believe, will also eventually be terraformed but I think not in the foreseeable future. I think vast asteroid, space (solar system) colonies, and other planetary moon colonies will come first because they would be easier, cheaper, and more profitable in the foreseeable future.

//

Edited by pantheory

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Moontanman    1949

Mars is one of the primary transforming possibilities within maybe a thousand years minimum. But I think the moon would be easier. The moon is the right distance from the sun and could be "spun up" as part of the terraforming process. Even though it probably has underground water, we probably would need to import much more from the outer moons or the asteroid belt. We probably could import an atmosphere of nitrogen, oxygen, and Co2 in the form of ices with sun shades needed as such ices are imported, also probably from the asteroid belt. My expectation would be that once there is an atmosphere, and a moon-spin fast enough, a magnetic field would almost immediately develop to shield from UV and other deleterious solar radiation. Without direct solar wind, I believe this atmosphere might last maybe thousands of years before needing to be replenished. Manufacturing processing could also produce a regular replenishment of these same molecular gasses.

 

As far as genetic alterations, I would expect that we would engineer both plant and animal life primarily for food purposes to start with, to be better adapted to live in a foreign environment. I would also expect Mars to immediately develop a magnetic field also once it has a substantial atmosphere.

 

Here's a couple of links that might give a clue concerning the possibility that our present model of Earth and Planetary magnetism may be wrong.

 

http://www.nature.co...ll/485319a.html

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531102443.htm

 

Venus, I believe, will also eventually be terraformed but I think not in the foreseeable future. I think vast asteroid, space (solar system) colonies, and other planetary moon colonies will come first because they would be easier, cheaper, and more profitable in the foreseeable future.

//

 

 

pantheory, i see nothing in either of those links to support this assertion (sentence in bold)

Edited by Moontanman

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pantheory    43

Moontanman,

 

I see nothing in either of those links to support this assertion.
(your quote)

 

I would also expect Mars to immediately develop a magnetic field once it has a substantial atmosphere . (This would also apply to the moon concerning both an atmosphere and an adequate rotation period)
(parenthesis added, my quote and expectation)

 

Tis true my friend. That's why I said "I would expect :) (not I assert)," since it is my opinion and expectation based upon contradictions of present theory, whereby all could come to their own conclusions, which is what it seems that you have done :)

 

I realize that I am getting close to your field of expertise concerning moon tans so I tread lightly :)

Edited by pantheory

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Moontanman    1949

Moontanman,

 

(your quote)

 

(parenthesis added, my quote and expectation)

 

Tis true my friend. That's why I said "I would expect :) (not I assert)," since it is my opinion and expectation based upon contradictions of present theory, whereby all could come to their own conclusions, which is what it seems that you have done :)

 

I realize that I am getting close to your field of expertise concerning moon tans so I tread lightly :)

 

 

Come on dude, I know when something is above my pay grade, that's why i asked, you suggested that Mars would form a magnetic field if it had an denser atmosphere then you gave links but the links didn't support your opinion at all, in fact never mentioned it. Why would you expect mars to generate a magnetic field if it had a substantial atmosphere?

 

I could see how spinning the moon, if it still has a molten core might generate a magnetic field, but why would mars?

Edited by Moontanman

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