Terraforming Mars- our next destination

 





The era of space exploration began with Sputnik-1 in 1957 and after that, there was no turning back. First, we believed that the moon was the best place for existence of life but after new discoveries, all the focus shifted towards mars. Now, a non-discriminating life-threatening virus has run rampant around the world, changing life as we know it and challenging us in ways we may not have thought possible just a few months ago. Covid-19 has left no person immune, we could be gone at any moment. In a situation like this, we need a safe place for ensuring the continuity of our species, and the best way to do this is by expanding human's presence deeper into the solar system. Mars is the first planet in this race because of many reasons:





  1. Its periodic rotation about its axis; which is similar to that of the earth[earth-23.8 hours, mars-24.6 hours].
  2. Axis tilt[mars- 25.0 degrees, earth- 23.5 degrees]
  3. closest temperatures to that of the earth[ earth-(14) degree Celsius, mars- (-60) degree Celsius]
  4. presence of water and trace amounts of oxygen
  5. very close to the earth
  6. close to the asteroid belt and has many minerals on its surface.




How to terraform Mars:





  1. The main reason why mars currently do not have any forms of life is because of its atmosphere. It has a very thin atmosphere and cannot absorb harmful radiations from the Sun, it also has very less amount of oxygen and cannot hold water vapour. The best way we can make atmosphere similar to that of the earth is by launching missile-like structures filled with gases targeting mars, we should also use Davis method and ultraviolet laser methods to increase oxygen percentage by using Co2.




Davis method: Agro-carbon dioxide will be kept in a shock tube and will be heated to approximately 6500 degrees Celsius. Shock waves would be passed through the system, it will lead to decayed infrared emission carbon dioxide will be decomposed into carbon monoxide and oxygen.





As we know mars atmosphere mostly contains carbon dioxide we can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen by making carbon dioxide excited using “High energy vacuum ultraviolet laser”. It turns out that, in a highly excited state, carbon dioxide and other molecules have a bit more energy path and, like any molecule, feel like “roaming”, which is a chemical phenomenon in which chemical bonds will break in other ways.





2) Mars gravity and atmospheric pressure are low however this can be countered by increasing the percentages of nitrogen, ammonia and other dense gases. We can do this by making asteroids rich in these gases collide with mars.





3) Temperatures can be increased using the greenhouse effect. We can increase gases like methane, CFCs and CO2 in order to maintain the earth like temperatures.





After the temperatures are increased and atmospheric pressure is increased by 100 times, trees should be grown using methods like hydroponics and aquaponics, when the oxygen levels are increased soil agricultural methods can be used because the martian soil is similar to the soil of our earth.





Water should be taken from the polar caps and craters of mars. It is estimated that water on mars is sufficient to cover the planet with a height of around 4 feet. We can create a natural ecosystem and can create artificial rain by using HAARP technology which gives us an opportunity to control the climate of Mars.





Thus, terraforming of Mars is very difficult and is a time taking process and who knows we might be gone before even beginning this process. The best thing which can be done now is building a space settlement in the orbit of either the Moon or Mars.


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