What will it take to find a new home in space – Earth 2.0 ?
How can we use technology to modify the environment of any planet/moon/asteroid into Earth’s like – a habitable environment for terrestrial life?
- Earth’s atmosphere protects us from harmful cosmic rays and the most dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- The most important part of making any planet habitable is to give it an atmosphere – ideally as close to earth as possible.
- NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers and orbiters have found evidence of an ancient watery surface – making Mars the ideal candidate for terraformation.
- Mars’s current atmospheric pressure is 0.6% that of the earth – which means it would shutdown the circulatory system of unprotected humans within a minute.
- With a temperature of -60 celsius – Mars has no green house effect – the atmosphere lacks the ability to trap the heat from the sun – light rays from the sun are already fainter due to Mars distance they are radiated directly into space.
- On earth the same light bounces around in our thick atmosphere, heating it up.
- To kick start a feedback cycle of greenhouse warming on mars we would need to nuke the poles to melt enough carbon dioxide and water vapor.
- At 11% mass of Earth, Mars has a weaker gravitational field that grips less tightly to an atmosphere – with no magnetic fields that do protect the earth from solar winds – the atmosphere on mars may have been slowly shaved away by the solar winds over billions of years.
- The possibility of replenishing Mars atmosphere using the 3 sources of Carbon dioxide -(melting south polar icecap, Surface CO2, and Carbonate minerals in the crust) – has been researched and unfortunately, no near-future technology could hope to kickstart the recovery of any useful atmosphere.
- Maybe it is not easy to terraform a planet and lots of things must go right, but it is possible, the only thing stopping it is our imagination.