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I Terraforming Mars by using Europa

  1. Sep 1, 2017 #41
    Looking at the earlier suggestion to put a superconducting ring around Mars -- would that not gradually heat the core through hysteresis, for instance? Granted, the time scale would be ridiculous. But maybe multiple lines of attack? Superconductiong ring providing inductive heating, plus H-bombs dropped down a deep shaft, plus microwave energy being beamed to the poles and used in some kind of either heating or further induction...

    I'm just spitballing, and I freely admit I haven't a clue.
  2. Sep 1, 2017 #42


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    The global thermonuclear arsenal is about 6*1018 J (number from here), divided by the mass of Mars we get 10 µJ/kg. If you somehow manage to heat 10% of Mars only you get 0.1 mJ/kg. Utterly negligible.

    As comparison: It is about the energy Mars receives as sunlight every 10 seconds.
  3. Sep 1, 2017 #43
    If you build huge superconducting rings why would you heat Mars' core? Would already be a huge magnet.

    The only reason to bother with the magnet is to avoid some of the ionizing radiation. Detonating nuclear bombs is not a way to reduce exposure to ionizing radiation.

    Microwaves are usually considered safe radiation but microwaves do not penetrate. You will only get convective flow if the inside is hotter than the outside.
  4. Sep 3, 2017 #44
    I like the idea of sending some of earths ocean water to Mars. I'm not sure about railguns and the like though.
    I assume by the time we are ready for anything even remotely close to this we should have an operating space tether/elevator.
    Could it even be possible in the future to siphon the ocean water up through the middle of a space tether and send it on to mars from there? Once in space and frozen you could then shoot it to mars however you like.
    Probably need multiple space tethers to keep the weight down too.
  5. Sep 3, 2017 #45
    Hydrogen is much lighter than water. Methane is also lighter and can easily be converted to water on other planets. I have doubts about the friction on 40 million meters of pipe. One large pipe will transport more fluid without bursting. A space tether pipe material would have to be much stronger than a space tether material because internal pressure adds stress.

    Materials that exist could build an elevator on Europa, Ceres, or a bridge from Pluto to Charon.

    You might like the space fountain idea. If hydrogen ions or molecules are the particle stream then you could collect some in space instead of sending them back down.
  6. Sep 10, 2017 #46
    Finally someone who understands me, by the time we got through political trouble and annoyances on Earth, we'd most likely have the technology to have a space elevator sort of contraption or a way to siphon water up to a planetary space station or at least a Moon base, firing frozen water from the Moon is MUCH easier than from Earth due to the Moon having negligible, but building a space tether to Mars may be out of reach for quite a while, that's not counting it being worth it or not, by the time the construction was completed we'd probably have been able to cover Mars with water

    But why terraform Mars when even if it had water would still be relatively uninhabitable? I mean if Mars lost its magnetic field once, who's to say it will lose it again once we resort it? Unless we made the magnetic field nearly as strong as Earth's, the magnetic field would most likely be lost. Also the fact that Mar's atmosphere is basically carbon dioxide might make it a little hard to breath in don't you think?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  7. Sep 10, 2017 #47


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    We cannot restore the magnetic field of Mars. We don't have to do so either.
    Getting some oxygen into the atmosphere is easier than large amounts of water.
  8. Sep 10, 2017 #48
    I believe the space elevator is a materials science problem. What political opposition do you know of?

    Water is in short supply on the moon. Highly unlikely that any lunar water will be fired to Mars. It is possible that rockets traveling to Mars will burn fuel collected on the moon. Rocket fuel would not add any water to Mars' surface.

    If you mean lifting water from Earth to the Moon and then relaunching to Mars then no it is not easier. A direct shot would be much lower energy. Flying past the moon for a gravity assist could help.

    The mass of a Mars skyhook attached to Phobos would be much lower than the mass of an ocean. A cubic kilometer of water would not be an ocean. A million tons of water compared to 10,000 tons of materials. Most of the material for the Phobos skyhook could be acquired on Mars and likely on Phobos.

    Removing the CO2 would be much easier than bringing in Nitrogen. The pressure is less than 1% of Earth's atmosphere. Ejecting carbon into space from Mars would be the same energy scale as escaping Jupiter's gravity from Europa. Depositing coal would be much lower energy and mechanically easier. Overall may be more than 1000x less effort. Terraforming would also include adding plants which need the CO2 so removing would be counter productive.

    Of course Europa is short on Nitrogen. But we can repeat this nonsense using Titan instead.
  9. Sep 10, 2017 #49


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    Phobos has a mass of 1016 kg. You are fine with moving that to a significantly higher orbit (and probably moving Deimos as well, another 1.5*1015 kg), but you are worried about 1012 kg for a cubic kilometer of water?

    1016 kg of water, corresponding to the mass of Phobos, could give Mars a uniform 7 cm layer of water. Or many reasonably sized lakes in many interesting places.
  10. Sep 10, 2017 #50
    My first thought when I read that was "I said skyhook not elevator". A skyhook hanging off of Phobos does not require any moving of Phobos.

    Then I looked at the numbers. Going from Phobos to Deimos takes 745 m/s delta v. I believe that figure includes take off and landing. Is also overkill for anything in between including geosynchronous (areosynchronous?) . Delta V launching from Earth's surface to low earth orbit is around 9,000 m/s.
    9000/745 = 12

    Tsoilkovsky rocket equation:
    Δv = vexh ln(m0/mf)
    To get 12 times the delta V the mass ratio needs to increase by e12 which = 1.7 x 105 So order of magnitude estimate the 1 km3 of water takes 10x more fuel even if just moving to LEO. The starting mass and final mass need to include rocket engines and tanks which could be worse for the water lift. Phobos is not made out of rocket fuel so it is not that simple. But if you have a large cable you can catapult material and plug it into the Tsoilkovsky equation.

    Maybe you could also use a tether to catch and de-orbit the ice from Europa. I am inclined toward thinking Phobos is well placed right where it is now. :)
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