In the last two installments I wrote about the process of Terraforming and why Mars is our best chance for future colonization.
A few of my readers have commented about the perchlorate content within the Red Planet.
for those who don’t know Perchlorate in essence, are reactive molecules which are not too friendly to humans, especially parts of the body with rapidly reproducing cells e.g thyroid.
(example of Perchlorate ions)
The perchlorate content in the soil is approximately about 0.5%. This is substantially larger than Earth and even the smallest amount exposed to human skin can be toxic.
However this can be both good and bad, as perchlorate can be used in the cheap and efficient production of rocket fuel see https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/tag/rocket-fuel/.
With this is mind, our initial sites can be used as onsite mining stations. With the proper protection and proper equipment, the soil on Mars can slowly be transformed into something tolerable for human life.
There is still a lot more ground to be broken in regards to getting past this obstacle, but definitely something which can be achieved.
Another point that has been made was about there being no magnetic field on Mars to protect humans from solar radiation.
This is not true.
Mars simply has a much weaker magnetic field approximately 1/10 the strength of Earth’s.
despite the fact that Mars no longer has an internal dynamo capable of producing an electric field, There is evidence to suggest that it once did
An American satelleite mission lasting 9 years (1997-2006) MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) measured the magnetic field of the planet using a small magnetometer.
It showed parts of the planet with strong magnetic fields, some even stronger than the ones found on Earth.
This means that on the surface there are small areas covered by magnetospheres which are more than capable of protecting humans from harmful solar winds.
In this next section ill be talking about 3 possible ways to terra-form other terrestrial planets.
Carbon Di-oxide Sublimation
Within the south pole Ice caps of Mars, lies trapped carbon di-oxide. If these Ice caps were to melt and release the stored natural green house gas, both the temperature and the pressure of the planet would increase. This would be a vital step in the fight to make Mars Habitable.
Furthermore, there are certain species of phyto-plankton, which naturally produce Oxygen from carbon di-oxide. Producing a much friendlier atmosphere for humans to breathe.
Through out the outer solar system lies multiple celestial bodies rich in ammonia and ammonia compounds. It may be possible to guide these nitrogen rich bodies into Mars. By continuous, small and sustained impacts to the martian surface, both heat and nitrogen will be added into the mix. Since ammonia is mostly nitrogen by weight, it can be used as a buffer gas within the martian atmosphere, further contributing to the habitability of the atmosphere.
Large Solar mirrors could be put in orbit around Mars to directly increase the amount of warmth that impacts the planets surface.These mirrors would help insulate the planet and increase its over all temperature. By increasing its overall temperature it will also help melt away any ice sheets containing Carbon Di-Oxide to help further the greenhouse gas effect and insulate the planet.
Although it may not be easy, our future is among other terrestrial bodies. Once we get the ball rolling, there is no telling how far humanity will go.
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Next Generation Wants Its Mars Shot | Rocketology: NASA’s Space Launch System. 2016. Next Generation Wants Its Mars Shot | Rocketology: NASA’s Space Launch System. [ONLINE] Available at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/2016/05/06/next-generation-wants-its-mars-shot/. [Accessed 02 May 2016].
Space.com. 2016. Toxic Mars: Astronauts Must Deal with Perchlorate on the Red Planet. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.space.com/21554-mars-toxic-perchlorate-chemicals.html. [Accessed 02 May 2016].
David Shiga. 2016. Space mirrors could create Earth-like haven on Mars | New Scientist . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10573-space-mirrors-could-create-earth-like-haven-on-mars/. [Accessed 02 May 2016].
http://www.space.dtu.dk. 2016. Mars’ magnetic field – DTU Space. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.space.dtu.dk/english/Research/Universe_and_Solar_System/magnetic_field. [Accessed 03 May 2016].
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Christopher McKay and Robert Zubrin, “Do Indigenous Martian Bacteria have Precedence over Human Exploration?”, pp. 177-182, in On to Mars: Colonizing a New World, Apogee Books Space Series, 2002
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