Terraforming of Mars

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For a long time the Space exploration was dead

It was after the end of the Space Race that the progress made towards Space exploration came to a grinding halt.

We all know how it went, US sent a crew to the moon and back. Then everyone thought Mars would be the next target, fast forward 6 Decades and nothing new was done.

Sure there were great probe mission that expanding our knowledge of the solar system but nothing in terms of putting humans on other celestial bodies.

Luckily a second race race is heating up again.

The second (private) space race

The first space race was between USA and USSR and now it is between private companies SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

It all started not with the SpaceX but with Virgin Galactic which was founded back in 2004 but the idea for Virgin Galactic was said to have started with a phone call in 1988 BBC’s Saturday morning children’s show ‘Going Live!’ on that show a boy asked about his future plans to become an astronaut which as the story goes inspired him to register the name Virgin Galactic the very next day.

Sir Richard Branson has shared the clip of the (now famous) phone call on this tweeter.

Original Tweet

The SpaceX was founded in 2004 after Elon Musk could find cheap rockets from the Russian, It all started as the Mars Oasis project in 2001 that wanted to land a miniature experimental greenhouse and grow plants on Marsland a miniature experimental greenhouse and grow plants on Mars.

Whereas, Blue Origin was conceptualized in 1999 and was founded in 2000 as a childhood dream of his to build habitats in space.

Commonalities

What's common common the 3 heralds of modern space space is that they are all dreamers with childish fantasies. People would laugh at these dreams to be childish and give practicalities of the world to remind us how childish these dreams are.

But today we are sitting at the edge at the dawn of the new space race.

Importance of imagination

It all would never and been possible if we humans as a species couldn't imagine and look up and wonder what was it like up in the sky?

The stories we make and the thing we can imagine can shape the future.

Science-fiction has been around for quite sometime and space has been a fascination for centuries and while their are ancient myths and story across the globe in almost every culture, the modern sci-fi that explored the idea of space travel could be set to be ideated in the Jules Verne's novel 'From the Earth to the Moon' in 1865.

Science-Fiction is the birthplace of all our modern technologies and if you take a look at the history of thing in many instances most of our devices are actually inspired from something from one science-fiction story or other.

What if space race continued?

It is sometimes a good thought experiment to imagine what could have been if we had taken a different course in history and while on one could predict it perfectly if is still a good exercise to try and figure out.

One of the recent series that have caught my attention is 'For All Mankind' n alternate history depicting what would have happened if the global space race had never ended?

That is interesting to me and the show progress in a believable manner and you can see that the maker have put in work to draw the fiction as close to reality and are less prone to flight of fancy.

The future

Still what really strikes me is the question about the future, will the people 60-years into the future will be like us and watching a drama about What if the second Space Race never ended? or will they be living on different planets?

That is a scary question to any space enthusiast.

We have a long way to go to become a interplanetary species and the final step would be to terraform another planet so that humans can walk freely on it.

'The Expanse' is a great TV series and a book series which depicts a world where we are living on different parts of the solar system but can't terraform it.

It is a great series that utilize the real world physics and limitations, even then we are so far away from making that a reality.

So you can imagine how far we are to terraforming an planet.

Why is terraform important?

Terraforming as a concept is not very difficult but very hard to actually implement.

Wikipedia defines Terra forming as deliberately modifying the atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology of a planet, moon, or other body to be similar to the environment of Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life.

But aren't we already terraforming? just in completely wrong planet and in opposite direction?

I am talking about Earth, we are terraforming Earth and making it inhospitable for life (a complete opposite) by pollution and wastage.

Instead if we release Carbon Dioxide on Mars it will warm up the cold planet.

The future of terraforming

The future lies in the stars, that line can be said as many times as possible and the dreams of centuries of authors could be written and printed over and over, but what remains is the dream and perhaps you or I might not be able to see that future but if we don't move forward towards it that we are truly setting ourselves back.

The great filter

Here's a terrifying thought of The Great Filter, a concept that originates in Robin Hanson's argument of why we haven't seen any alien life in our observation of the universe. The arguments goes like that evolution of intelligent life leads to a high probability of self-destruction.

And intelligent life that can build interstellar travel will wipe itself out before it can develop that technology.

Are we headed that way?

Mars terraforming

There is a great Trilogy of books by Kim Stanley Robinson that chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars, which has depicted a lot of the technology that can work towards terraforming of Mars and the concepts explored aren't too much into the fiction, as most of the technology already exists. Sure some of the things in the later novels is more on the fancy side but other than that the books described as a process as a long and time consuming set of various processes that work together to came that dream a reality over the course of few 100 or more years.

My own stories

I have also started writing fiction recently and one of the story that is read the most was "The Venusian Sky" which is set on the terraformed Venus.

I plan on writing more to continue the story in The Venusian Sky and develop it into a series. Just a small idea and nothing more at the moment but it is important to dream.

Final thought

Space is new and excited and yes we need to explore it, not to leave Earth behind but to save it and grow as a species.

From the point of view of the present situation it seems like terraforming would be the final step in the journey to the final frontier.

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Comments

It is easy to reverse terraform and make the planet a waste, but for the time being impossible to even consider terraforming the atmosphere and land of Mars. The minerals on earth and the constant exploitation, the rainforest destruction and most of all the thousands of nuclear tests have brought the environment in a difficult condition. We can't even co-operate to reduce the damage to our planet, let alone change a desolate one liveable.

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2 years ago

So very true, as well as sad.

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2 years ago

We never know what might happen in the future.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Yup

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2 years ago

About Moon everyone know that it's Really rear to earth that's wahy USA send everything which they want but mars very difficult mission and everything going to impossible to possible if they want to do on work I totally Agree With You to one day they will reached on the Mars but it's take a time may be some year may be some decade . It's totally different to make impossible to possible

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2 years ago

Yes, mars is far but the point is the loss of progress after the end of the space race. That is why I pointed to the show 'For All Mankind' Hopeful for the future 🤠

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2 years ago