Terraforming: The Creating of Habitable Worlds (Astronomers' Universe)
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We all know that Earth’s population is growing at an alarming rate, and vital resources are becoming scarce. There simply isn’t enough space to grow the food the bulging human populations will need in the future. An energy crisis is also upon us. What happens when the oil runs out or becomes too costly to support us in the lifestyles to which we’ve become accustomed? What do we do?
There are no easy solutions. Planned population growth would certainly be a possible solution, but there are probably already too many mouths too feed, and few nations would be willing to pass or enforce laws limiting their country’s birth rate.
Some scientists have suggested the answer lies in humankind’s spacefaring nature and fantastic engineering capabilities. We know that there are other terrestrial bodies in our Solar System that share some features with Earth. Can they be made habitable, or at least be used to grow food or supply energy to Earth’s expanding populations? What would it take? Which of those bodies are our best hope? Can we create an atmosphere where there is none or change a poisonous atmosphere to one we can breathe?
These and other questions concerning modern-day realities and the future possibilities of terraforming—the science of making of new worlds (even extrasolar ones) habitable for humans—are tackled in this engrossing and revealing study by Martin Beech.
Apollo era mission; it is many orders of magnitude more complicated. 9.The classic book by Gerard O’Neill is his The High Frontier—Human Colonies in Space, published by William Morrow and Company Inc. New York (1977). O’Neill discusses some of the more technical issues associated with the engineering of space structures in his article, The Colonization of Space, published in the September issue of Physics Today, 32–40 (1974). 10.Here we take the condition for stardom as being the requirement
molecules escape into space. Extremophiles:General name for bacteria that have adapted to survive in extreme (very hot, very cold, high salinity, high pressure, etc.) environments. Greenhouse gas:A molecular gas that is efficient at absorbing energy in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Flux:The amount of energy flowing through a given area in a given time. Heliopause:The boundary at which the solar wind no longer has enough energy to hold back the interstellar medium. This
of the material. In a few cases the relationship between the pressure, temperature, and volume can be written down as a simple formula, and the ideal gas equation is one such example. Now, while the properties of a warm water-vapor gas can be determined according to a specific equation, the properties of water ice and liquid water cannot; indeed, they have their own distinct equations of state. Rather than write down the formulae for H2O in its various states, it is more convenient to look at
the ambient temperature and pressure will enable liquid water to exist. At what depth this ice-to-liquid water transition occurs will depend upon the specific rock structure of the Martian crust. Estimates for the depth at which liquid water might be stable on Mars have recently been made by Michael Mellon (University of Colorado) and Roger Phillips (Washington University, St. Louis), who found that in regions with a low thermal conductivity, such as those associated with a dry, porous regolith
development emerging from the present use of ISS-habitation modules to lunar-habitation modules (by 2025), then to the first journey of humans to Mars18 (by 2031), and the eventual initiation of terraforming Mars (perhaps by 2150). The dates by which the various steps might be achieved are highly uncertain, but they set a potential timeframe, and it is not inconceivable to think that the children of our children will be among the first permanent residents on the Moon. Notes and References 1.C.