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I Terraforming Mars by using Europa

  1. Aug 17, 2017 #21
    The in atmosphere energy needed for shooting can be ignored if we use the method I propose of having a orbital platform to shoot from, no need to shoot from the surface of Earth, either that or establish a Moon station to shoot from. Establishing a station in the Moon wouldn't only help to terraform Mars, we could use that as a base to mine the Moons resource rich surface, containing elements not usually found on Earth, such as Helium-3, we could get two birds with one stone, as Helium-3 can be used in nuclear fusion, which if scientists figure out how to control the super heated plasma, could completely solve our issue of climate change.

    And I try to avoid politics in these debates as they ruin many many ideas that could be plausible without it, but I guess it's unavoidable. It's nice to theorise things like this without issues such as logistics, funding and politics as they require a lot of re analysing
     
  2. Aug 17, 2017 #22

    mfb

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    You still have to get the water to the platform. Installing a railgun and solar cells on one of Jupiter's moons sounds easier.

    Helium-3 fusion processes are harder than DT fusion, and DT fusion is sufficient to satisfy every foreseeable energy demand.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2017 #23
    It may sound easier but if you look into practicality, you'd have to assemble the rail gun at the Europa robotically, and maintenance of the rail gun would be near impossible, if something went wrong there would be no way to fix it. Having one on the Moon or orbiting Earth would be much easier to maintain and take control of.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2017 #24
    That problem will go away if and when we find room temp superconductors, I calculated 4 turns of super wire wrapped around the equator and fed with about 50,000 amps will generate a field about equal to Earth's. And the nice thing is the current lasts for a long time, at least till the field gets attacked by solar flares, I imagine that would suck out some current and require replacing but it would work. So it just comes down to superconductor development and engineering. I imagine it would work with just 100 degree K stuff we have now also but would require a massive refrig system taking a LOT of energy to maintain.

    I see I am not the only one to think of superconductor rings on Mars but my calcs show a lot lower current needed for multiple turn loops.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2017 #25
    What "close" means is a bit wierd in a solar system where everything is rotating. Should at least check delta V. On this map it shows Earth to mars 12.16 km/s and Europa to Earth 6.86 km/s (Europa Mars a bit easier). Ceres to earth transfer is only 4.37 km/s.

    The absurd plan assumes a launch complex capable of firing a cubic km or ice. Things could go horribly wrong with thousands of units but the construction crews will still be working on hundreds of thousands more at the site. So repairs and upgrades could be a minor inconvenience. Removing a small part the surface of a planet or moon is a far larger infrastructure than we have in place on earth today.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2017 #26
    What is technically feasible in foreseeable future (a few ~100s of years) is nudging some long-period comets which already pass near Mars, into colliding with it. The necessary dV to adjust orbits is small if you do it far away from perihelion, say at something like Neptune's distance from Sun.

    To reduce damage to Mars, a very oblique entry into atmosphere may be best. Also, mining into the comet and putting in a several megaton fusion bomb(s) would allow you a controlled disintegration at a controlled altitude in Mars atmosphere. Another possibility worth looking into is aerocapture of the comet into a Mars orbit, and gradual dismantling (however I have doubts it can survive g forces intact).
     
  7. Aug 18, 2017 #27
    If it didn't survive g forces there would still be smaller chunks that could be de-orbited and anyway, I would think if something of that magnitude was to be done, it would be done before humans arrive so nobody would get hurt.

    There still would be an ethical issue to deal with: We don't know if there is life there, but if there is, and we start slamming down comets raining destruction of the hypothetical eco-system, could we ethically do that to life on another planet in our zeal to terraform Mars?
     
  8. Aug 18, 2017 #28

    mfb

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    Do you think people in 1800 could foresee how our world looks today?
    I expect the world to change much more in the next 200 years than it did in the previous 200 years.
    We will probably have the technology to go to Mars within 20 years. Deflecting comets will take longer.

    Concerning possible life on Mars: That is actively studied.
     
  9. Aug 19, 2017 #29
    I don't have ethical issues with killing bacteria and such. I brush my teeth every day :D

    Cordoning off Mars forever just because there might be some bacteria is completely unreasonable decision on cost/benefit metrics. However, I fully expect that enviro-nuts will promptly go off the rails on this issue and label anyone who disagrees with them "murderous fascists hell bent on exterminating poor oppressed Martian bacteria" and such.
     
  10. Aug 19, 2017 #30

    mfb

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    Even if you completely ignore ethical questions (and I don't think you should), there are huge scientific and even economic benefits of studying very foreign life - we would learn much more about life in general.
     
  11. Aug 19, 2017 #31
    Sure. But nothing prevents studying Martian life while Mars colonization is underway. It's certain to be different enough from Earth bacteria so that "contamination" of Earth origin should not be a huge problem for analysis. Real-world example: Genesis' spacecraft crashed on landing and contaminated its samples with Earth materials, however analysis was still largely successful.
     
  12. Aug 24, 2017 #32
    Surely crashing a few puny comets to the surface of Mars would do nothing to the so called bacteria living on Mars, if there is life on Mars then it would need to have adapted to the harsh Martian climate and solar flares and other cosmic events, dust storms, high carbon dioxide levels and such, a few comets crashing would be the least of their worries...
     
  13. Aug 24, 2017 #33
    But what if we found surviving pockets of higher life forms, squidy things in a buried lake or hydrovent?
     
  14. Aug 29, 2017 #34
    The less it effects the climate the more useless the action.

    Plants on earth evolved to grow in shade usually die when they get too much sun. Desert plants tend to develop root rot when you water them. Tundra will not grow in the tropics, tropical plants die when leaves freeze. Climate change is highly disruptive and makes it very difficult to study what the ecology was like before disruption.

    Any organism starves if some other organism eats its food. Organisms die when they are eaten. Few organisms that are adapted to a martian atmosphere would be able to survive for long in a earth atmosphere. The likelihood of competing against organisms that are adapted comes close to zero.
     
  15. Aug 29, 2017 #35
    Getting several billion tonnes of water off of Earth would require several billion tonnes of rocket fuel, and a fleet of rockets numbering several thousands.
     
  16. Aug 29, 2017 #36

    mfb

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    Why would you launch this with rockets? There are better ways to get huge amounts of matter into orbit or beyond. They are not worth the investment today, but with larger demand they would be built.
     
  17. Aug 29, 2017 #37
    Would be impressive rocket if it can lift a million tons. Space shuttle could launch almost 4 tons to GEO. The shuttle program launch 134 times.

    Lifting water off earth is much harder than Ceres, Europa or a lot of comets.

    Pluto-Charon may have been demoted from planet status but there is lots of water and nitrogen.
     
  18. Sep 1, 2017 #38
  19. Sep 1, 2017 #39
    Assuming we understand the mechanism for Earth's magnetic field correctly, the method would need to create something similar for Mars..
    That is we would need to liquify the core then spin it up.
    It doesn't break any laws of physics but the amount of energy involved would be enormous, and certainly well beyond any present technology.
     
  20. Sep 1, 2017 #40
    IMO when terraforming Mars (as opposed to more promising options like Venus and Mercury say, or colonising spacecraft or asteroids) is discussed, religious rage takes over where rationality leaves off.

    All quite unnecessary really; freezing water from Earth's oceans and shooting the ice to Mars indeed! As someone pointed out, pointed out, parts of Mars have large quantities of brine, even in comparison to some parts of the Atacama desert. All the colonists need do is install a few open-cast frozen-brine mines and power generators, and brine desalination plants, and Robert is your mother's brother. Of course, grabbing a bit of H2, NH3, and CH4 from Jupiter and various moons would be equally easy.

    Mars will be ours, and flushing green around our colonial cities.

    Or something...
     
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