Terraforming Mars Is This a Good Idea or a Bad Essay

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Terraforming Mars: Is this a good idea or a bad one?

Terraforming mars

Mars is the 4th planet from the sun. It is the 2nd smallest planet in the solar system as after Pluto (Markley, 2005). The planet derived its name from the Roman god of war. Red planet is an alternative name of mars as the iron oxide present on its surface makes it appear reddish. The planet is a terrestrial planet having a thin atmosphere with surface features such as craters, volcanoes, deserts, valleys, and even the polar ice caps (Markley, 2005). The rotational period of the planet, as well as its seasonal cycles are similar to that of the earth. Mars has two moons, Deimos and Phobos, that are relatively small and irregular shaped. Mars is easily visible from the earth without the use of telescope (Markley, 2005).

The similarities between Mars and the Earth make many scientists believe that there is life on the planet (Markley, 2005). This is in turn making them to find ways on how they can terraform the planet. As the scientists continue to explore further in the solar system, the question of habitation as well as colonization of planet Mars always comes up (Badescu, 2009). The scientist has a significant natural desire to find out whether there is indigenous life on Mars or not. While this remains a big issue, it is important to understand what is there in the planet and the things that the scientist will modify to make life on Mars sustainable (Badescu, 2009).

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Terraforming is the hypothetical process of transforming unfavorable environment into an environment that is conducive for human life (Shankel, 2011). The fact that Mars is the planet that has the most similarities with Earth makes it the best candidate for terraforming. This process is becoming a viable research area by many scientists in the field of astronomy (Anonymous, 2012). According to the famous astronomer, as well as the Pulitzer prize winner, Carl Sagan, there is great hopes in search of ancient life on planet Mars. Bearing in mind that life was once sustainable on planet earth, it is crucial to understand what caused the planet to turn into a cold as well as a lifeless planet as it is today. Having this knowledge, the scientist can be able to terraform the planet through reversing this process. The concept of terraforming Mars relies greatly on the assumption; it is possible to alter the environment of the planet through artificial means.

Many scientists today believe that it is possible technologically to create a favorable climate changes on Mars, hence enabling people to live in it. Nevertheless, this is not an easy task (Shankel, 2011). This is because raising the surface temperature and the atmospheric pressure on the planet is not possible in the near future.

It is the unique history of Mars that makes it an attractive planet for terraforming (Anonymous, 2012). The planet has a long history of being more similar to earth than any other body in the solar system. Various proposals of transforming other bodies are highly theoretical as they involve a lot of energy flux as well as magical technology including altering the planetary orbit, and sequestering hundreds of atmosphere's bars.

For the purpose of terraforming Mars, it is important to understand that much of the materials that the scientists need in order to give the planet a thicker and warmer atmosphere are present on the planet, buried in its regolith (Shankel, 2011). Nevertheless, it is also important to understand that the scientist cannot simply walk into transforming the planet despite these promising circumstances. There are five main challenges in the process of transforming the planet. First, there is a need to raise the surface temperature of the planet. Secondly, there is also a need to increase the atmospheric pressure on the planet in order to sustain life. Thirdly, there is a need to change the chemical constituents of the atmosphere. The scientist also has to make the surface of the planet wet.

The most promising approach when it comes to dealing with the first two challenges is to reverse the runaway freeze out of the planet's atmosphere, through initiating a runaway greenhouse effect. The atmospheric pressure on mars is currently between 6 and 7 millibars (Shankel, 2011). This is less than only 1% of the atmospheric pressure as observed on… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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