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View Diary: Scientists: Phoenix Mars Lander Found Liquid Water. (110 comments)

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  •  There Was An Idea..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, deedogg, Vladislaw, antooo

    That we might be able to terraform Mars using nuclear weapons.

    If it's possible, Mars' polar caps would be key in terraforming the planet. Scientists who researched what it would take to make Mars' habitable wrote a detailed paper on the technology & requirements needed. The Cliffs Notes version is that they proposed constructing & using orbital mirrors to melt the polar ice caps on Mars. The polar ice caps are thought to be water & frozen CO2 (dry ice). If enough heat is able to melt the caps, the water & CO2 release could create a greenhouse effect & thicken the atmosphere.

    Since we don't nearly have the technical ability to construct, launch and tow a mirror large enough to do the job, others have suggested a "quick & dirty" way to make it happen.....

    Instead of mirrors, we would get rid of some of our nuclear weapons stockpile by launching on Mars. It might melt the caps, but it's going to leave some alpha particles in its wake.

    If you could melt the Martian polar caps & not "overdo" the radiation, the excess CO2 would be used to introduce oxygenating plants. Maybe through the use of genetically modified plants that could survive in the environment & produce the needed gases, we would seed the planet with flora. If you jump through all of those hoops (and some more probably known & unknown), by the time everyone reading this is long dead & gone, you might get a Mars that looks like this.....

    Some of the things that will have to be overcome.....

    • The Right Mix -  Earth's atmosphere is 77% nitrogen, which acts as a buffer gas, where the present Martian atmosphere only has 3% nitrogen.

    • Adding Mass - If this worked, it would only work in the short term. Mars doesn't have enough mass to hold an atmosphere, and will bleed off whatever atmo a terraforming operation creates. That's why some other people have proposed using our nukes to knock asteroids/comets at Mars. The impact of "mass drivers" on the poles would likely create the same effect, while adding mass to the planet.
    • No Magnetic Field - Mars doesn't have a magnetosphere like Earth, which means it's susceptible to cosmic radiation. The creation & thickening of the atmosphere would be crucial to offering it some protection.

    •  great post .... (4+ / 0-)

      I fear for the idea of terraforming.

      Extremophile

      "An extremophile (from Latin extremus meaning "extreme" and Greek philiā (φιλία) meaning "love") is an organism that thrives in and may even require physically or geochemically extreme conditions that are detrimental to the majority of life on Earth.

      Most known extremophiles are microbes. The domain Archaea contains renowned examples, but extremophiles are present in numerous and diverse genetic lineages of both bacteria and archaeans. Furthermore, it is erroneous to use the term extremophile to encompass all archaeans, as some are mesophilic. Neither are all extremophiles unicellular; protostome animals found in similar environments include the Pompeii worm, the psychrophilic Grylloblattodea (insects), Antarctic krill (a crustacean) and the "water bear"."

      I am only giving my personal opinion but I believe DNA is common in the galaxy. You can use elements as an anology just like there are different kinds with different rarities DNA is probably one of many. Either life, in general, is common or rare. I choose we are rather common.

      If the martian world holds life, then I doubt it will be singular but an ecosystem. If there is a general ecosystem then there will be common forms and more then likely martian extremophiles.

      As humanity destroys unique ecosystems like the rain forest we destroy tool kits of DNA that we do not even know how to utilize.

      If martian life has DNA and DNA is common, and life on earth is DNA based and is common, we could destroy more DNA tool kits we need long term.

      man this is a mangeled answer but you get the drift.

      we are connected to all life we just do not know how much yet.

      •  It's certainly possible that the first life on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deedogg, Vladislaw

        earth were extremophile microbes who came here on a meteorite. If so, then DNA is common in the universe, and at least microbial life also. However, from the only example we know, intelligent life is quite rare, considering we've been here for 60,000-100,000 years, but bacteria had this planet all to themselves for all but the last 1 billion years.

        i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

        by Kimball Cross on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:09:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you really want to terraform Mars ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deedogg

      ...let's do it the old fashioned way.

      Let's bio-engineer several strains of super bacteria that can thrive in Martian environments and breed like single-celled rabbits while churning out copious amounts of gasses, including methane and other greenhouse gasses.

      Then turn the little buggers loose and let them work their magic.

      Damn the unintended consequences, full speed ahead!

    •  I wonder if there is some sort (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deedogg

      of microscopic life there already, if we would be playing God in a destructive sort of way, in a 2001/2010 sort of way.

      On the other hand, the thought of terra-forming brings out my inner Imperialist, as in the Galactic Empire, so.....

      The casket is empty, Abandon ye all hope, They ran off with the money, And left us with the rope

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:09:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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