Have you ever looked up in the sky and wondered if there is life elsewhere in the universe? Have you ever looked at a photograph of Mars and wondered if there really was ever life on it? People have a wide variety of opinions regarding these questions and with good reason. As far back as the broadcast of H. G. Well's novel, "The War of the Worlds", the world has been fascinated with the possibilities of what Mars may hold. Over time, the majority of people have come to realize that there is no way that life can currently be on Mars. Those who are uncertain think there may be microscopic bacteria underground.
Situation NASA’s latest mars rover, Curiosity, is currently exploring mats, on a mission to determine wheather life could exist there. If we’re going to colonize mars - and some scientists say we must - its likely that we’ll start by terraforming. Terraforming, or planetary engineering, is the process of altering the climate of a planet to be more hospitable to life and human exploration. Of all the bodies in the solar system, Mars is by far the best candidate. Why mars?
“I think humans will reach Mars, and I would like to see it happen in my lifetime” was said by Buzz Aldrin, a NASA astronaut. The former American aeronaut from Montclair, New Jersey believes that since Mars does exist, it is waiting to be reached by humans. When this would happen, he says that the human race would “evolve into a two-planet species.” Present day Mars has a lot of canyons, mountains and volcanoes. Even though the surface is Mars is very old, scientists learned about different younger rift valleys, plains, hills and ridges. According to recent reports, there were lakes and rivers, along with an ocean billions of years ago. The low temperatures on the planet cause there to be polar ice caps and frozen water present. Scientists continue to notice several discoveries on the planet that lead them to think there was once life on the planet. Different clues have scientists wanting to find out about even more. Many scientists in the past few centuries have been curious if life on Mars is possible or if it has ever been before.
Moore, Patrick. “Introduction: The Fascination of Mars.” Mars Probes. Peter Crowther, ed. NY: DAW Books, Inc., 2002.
Mars' red color leads us to believe that the planet has large amounts of iron. This red color is the only color that is on the surface besides the poles. There is also a darker area that runs along the equator. It goes around roughly one third of the planet. This is a giant canyon that makes our Grand Canyon look like a scratch. There are also what appear to be old stream channels. This implies that there could have been liquid water on the surface.
Jake Huffman 4/30/14 Pledged Summary on The Hunt for Life on Mars In The Hunt for Life on Mars the author, Donald Goldsmith, provides a very in depth look into the extensive search for life on the planet Mars. He gives us details of the history of exploring mars, future endeavors, and discoveries that have been made in this enormous, yet exciting task. He spends most of the book discussing a rock, ALH 84001, that is believed to be from Mars and contains evidence that has led scientists to believe that at one point there was life and could still be life hiding somewhere on the red planet.
On Mars it will be the same. There will be individuals who are pro-terraforming and those who are against it. There will be extremists and neutralists. In Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson, the sides are designated by colors. "Greens", or terraforming supporters, are in constant conflict with the "Reds". These have become the most common terms for describing people involved in terraformation debates.
Cohen, Jack, and Ian Stewart. What Does a Martian Look Like?: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life.
As the world population grows at an astonishing rate, our mother earth is getting very crowded. Our natural resources are being overused and the land available for life is getting smaller and smaller. Farmers have to find ways to make what land they have usable and profitable. Farmers in general are a shrinking population. How does this relate to the general public? Without farmers we would not have food, without food we will all die. The world is realizing this problem and the best way to solve it is to find more land for habitat. We can not tack on a few million acres to earth and start using that, so we have to find somewhere else to go.
Terraforming Mars is the process of purposely changing the known properties of Mars to satisfy safe human habitation. In order to do this, we would have to use a 1000-year timeline. A thousand year timeline is best because it would give humans the time needed to change the atmosphere of Mars, change the temperature of Mars, grow food, and more. In order for the terraforming process to work, humans must permanently live on Mars for. For humans to permanently live on Mars, a fuel source must be used. Fossil fuel sounds like the perfect candidate for this being that it puts out C02, a greenhouse gas. Which in turn would kill two birds with one stone because we need to warm the atmosphere anyway. But fossil fuels can’t be used on Mars because of the C02 atmosphere, but magnesium can be. Not only can magnesium be used in mars’ C02 atmosphere, it’s already on the planet.