[extropy-chat] Re: MARS: Because it is hard

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 15 12:40:34 UTC 2004

The necessary first step to terraforming is to drop a comet or two on
Mars. The heat of impact and the added gasses to the atmosphere will
warm things enough to trigger a 100 millibar outgassing of CO2, both in
melting polar CO2 and that which is in rock all over the planet. This
would raise avg annual temps to that of Tibetan winter with a slightly
lower atmospheric pressure, but enough that should be able to support

Thing is we don't want a lot of photosynthetic plants there at first,
because we WANT lots of CO2 in the atmosphere, for at least the first
30 years, til it reachs about 600 millibars and people can work in
Earth type environmental suits without any pressure protection needs.
This is also when frozen aquifers will release and reflood the northern
sea basin.

At that point we can have built factories that spew out greenhouse
gasses like methane all day long to make up for CO2 being converted to
O2 by plants.

Read Martyn Fogg's "Terraforming" textbook. Good read.

--- Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 14, 2004 at 07:50:41PM -0400, David Lubkin wrote:
> > How long before we can create organisms (plants, bacteria, insects)
> > suitable for seeding on Mars, whose metabolism produces a useful
> benefit in 
> > extracting a resource or in terraforming?
> Right now, at 6 mbar CO2 and waay subantarctic temperatures you'd be
> hard
> pressed to have any detectable (that's a far cry from terraforming)
> microbial
> activity. Notice that any detectable (assuming, the methane is
> biogenic)
> activity comes from the few first km of submartian rock. 
> > Assuming we had such organisms today, what would be the best way to
> deploy 
> > them? How expensive would it be for the craft to deploy a large
> number of 
> > small entry vehicles, spread across the planet? How rapidly can an
> organism 
> > cover Mars, given an effectively unlimited food supply? (I'm asking
> more 
> > about how fast each moves, rather than how fast it reproduces.)
> > 
> > Of course either effort would dramatically alter whatever modest
> biosphere 
> > may exist there now.
> Most of it is underground. Any life capable of living on the surface
> (i.e.
> not under ice) would be wonderful to behold, but I'm not counting on
> it.
> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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Mike Lorrey
Chairman, Free Town Land Development
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                                       - Gen. John Stark
Sado-Mikeyism: http://mikeysoft.zblogger.com

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