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Terraforming Mars

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Made by inventive scientists the metal robots can survive on Mars without difficulty. However, can people live there? Preliminary evidence from the recent NASA stated that rover measured the level of radiation as cosmic rays are harmful to all life forms, and the main objective of NASA’s cutting-edge robot was to determine the suitability of potential Martian conditions to the existence of life forms in them. The scientists are confident that astronauts will be able without any consequences stay on the surface of Mars soon. The only question is – for how long? Regular receive of high doses of radiation can affect the health of the astronauts in the long term, so now the mission specialists beware to make statements about the radiation safety of the future Mars mission.

Mars looks like a pink disc

The researchers have noted that the MartianSea has a greenish tint, but further photometric observations showed that these color differences are small and are mainly due to the influence of the Martian atmosphere. This, in turn, leads to a leveling reflectivity seas and continents of Mars violet rays. Through the influence of the Martian atmosphere, we do not know what actually the color of the Martian surface is. However, many scientists claim, the fourth from the sun planet is the best one to live after the earth and that it could be terraforming. The main questions are: (a) to what extend is Mars similar to Earth and (b) is terraforming Mars a good or bad idea? Thus, in order to find out whether Mars is the place where it is possible to live for humans, the following things should be discussed.

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Physical Conditions

Pressure

Even earlier determining the optical thickness of the Martian atmosphere has shown that it is by its overall density significantly different from the earth’s one. For the  atmosphere of our planet, the meaning of such characteristic in the visible region of the spectrum is 0.30. At various times, it has been concluded the relative value of optical thickness of the atmosphere of Mars. It was found to be an average of 0.06 for 5000 %u01FA, which corresponds to the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars (60 mmHg). Until recently this figure has remained common in discussions about the possibility of the existence of living organisms on Mars white major quantities characterizing such unsightly conditions on our pink neighbors (McKay & Haynes, 1997).

Therefore, the pressure at the surface of Mars does not exceed 15 mmHg. The investigation of chemical and aerosol composition of the Martial atmosphere has shown that the oxygen in it is probably about 0.1% and carbon dioxide – 2.2% of the total volume. Other gases that could detect by observation of the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere of Mars are not found (McKay & Haynes, 1997).

Water

According to the spectrophotometric observations of Mars, there cannot be found even the small traces of water vapor. The astronomers have only concluded that density of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere does not exceed 0.1 g/cm³ (about 1% of the density of water vapor in the earth’s atmosphere). First of all, the “thawing” of the polar caps presents the idea the polar regions of Mars are covered with snow. At least the polar caps defined temperature (-100 ° C) completely reject the hypothesis of carbon composition of these formations. Due to the temperature on Mars is CO it cannot be solidify. Based on the rate of reduction of the polar caps (15-20 km per day) during the Martian spring in particular hemisphere and taking into account the fact Mars receives from the Sun is 2.3 times less heat than Earth, we must conclude that there is a small thickness – a few centimeters – snow layer on the planet’s surface. In early spring, in varying hemisphere of Mars polar cap covers an area of 30 million km². During this period, on the opposite hemisphere cap has a minimum size. A number of crystals of frozen water at this time are in the planet’s atmosphere. When considering all the stocks, it appears that total volume of water on Mars is about 1,000 cubic meters. Boiling water in low atmospheric pressure on Mars can be performed with the temperature less than 20-30 ° C. The calculations of the amount of water in the Martian atmosphere have shown that our neighbor’s pink is too poor to atmospheric moisture and is about 10 microns uniformly distributed across the surface of the water film. The observations demonstrated the amount of water in the Martian atmosphere is equivalent to 40 microns. In studying the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere we always proceed from the assumption that initial composition of the gas cloud has formed the planets. The chemical composition of the clouds must meet the prevalence of chemical elements in space. The rate of weathering on Mars is 5.1 km / sec. It is about half that in earth. It can be argued that light gases, such as hydrogen, helium and a few others, abstain in the Martian atmosphere and cannot disappear. In fact, the kinetic theory of gas follows that when Mars is the same age as the Earth (4.5 billion years), its atmosphere could abstain only those gases for which the thermal speed is less than 1 km / sec. The temperature of the atmosphere of Mars is about -70 ° C. At this temperature, all gases, whose molecular weight is less than 6 could, do not hold on to its atmosphere. The atmosphere of Mars should consist mainly of hard, chemically inert gases such as nitrogen, argon, etc (Schubert, Turcotte & Olson, 2001).

Knowing the chemical composition and temperature of the atmosphere, we can calculate how the pressure differs with the height. The calculations show that, for every kilometer, the atmospheric pressure on Mars decreases. That is faster than on earth. This means that, at an altitude of about 30 km from earth’s surface, pressure is the same as at the surface of Mars, and at higher altitudes than the earth pressure. The similar situation is about the density of the Martian atmosphere changes with altitude. At an altitude of about 40 km, the density of the atmosphere of Mars and Earth are equalized. Perhaps meteoric phenomena, or so-called shooting stars, are observed in the Martian atmosphere at altitudes slightly larger than earth’s atmosphere. There is a reason to believe that, like Earth, the atmosphere of Mars is the troposphere, stratosphere and ionosphere. In earth’s atmosphere, absorb solar radiation is observed, in particular, due to the presence of water vapor. On Mars this role, to some extent, can be played by carbon dioxide. In the atmosphere of Mars, carbon dioxide is 10-15 times greater than in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the temperature of the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere is lower because of the thermal radiation of CO in atmosphere is cooling (Taylor, 1992).

It was found by the theoretical assumptions that the stratospheric temperature is approximately - 100 º C while believing that the temperature of the atmosphere near the surface is 50 ° C lower than the one of the surface. Thus, the most likely explanation for purple clouds and purple layer in terms of the theory is the assumption of cluster crystals of ice with a diameter of about 0.3 microns. These particles we see on earth in the freezing weather: they form the so-called freezing mist.

Philosophical and Political Merit

There is no doubt that sooner or later, Mars will be populated with people from Earth - the humans and all kinds of living organisms. What will be the consequences of this? Many philosophers are thinking about this problem now. It is today possible to speculate on the future of Martian settlement by relying on the people’s knowledge only and earthly experience of the civilization, or assumption of regular paths of development in the specific new environment.

Mars will be the area where the most people will be used to the technologically advanced countries (Russia, the USA, EU member states). A settlement on Mars will be in regard to the racial composition of Caucasoid conglomerate. The population having some differences in national origin living in compact settlements will inevitably be mixed genetically (marriage) and end up in 3-5 generations forms a mono-ethnic education. The difference in the linguistic composition of the primary ethnic groups of settlers would be forced to undergo the deep processing toward the formation of a unified voice system (language and literature) while maintaining knowledge of the primary languages (e.g. Russian, English, German, French) to keep the possibility of communication with the population of earth. The cultural exchanges between the settlers will also force to create the averaged forms of culture, and the development of principles of behavior, learning and customs. Martian civilization will be the region with over or otherwise control of the metropolis (earth). “Red Planet” will inevitably become a completely independent political and economic entity solar system. It is natural to assume that the production of Martian civilization will be developed in the sector of arms, military and space complex. In case of any external expansion of the earth (the state, multinational companies), the Martian civilization will have significant advantages with respect to the overall cost of maintaining the military conflict of any kind, as any expedition from the earth and has a high probability to be of great value and flight risks. Martian neoplasm will be enough to have an effective constellation of surface and missile bases. It is interesting the total energy cost of a ballistic missile launch from the surface of Mars significantly (by orders of magnitude) less than the cost of shipping from the Earth to the orbit of Mars (Schubert, Turcotte, Olson, 2001). 

Conclusions

Mars is the most suitable candidate for terraforming. The magnitude of gravity would have been preferable to Venus: its gravity is 0.9 from the ground while on Mars is 0.38. Martian climate is severe but does not differ much from ours. The atmosphere on Mars is very sparse, and can be sealed, releasing bound oxygen from the compounds in the soil (peroxides and ozonides). The second smallest planet in the Solar System has significant reserves of water ice beneath the surface and in the polar caps. If the southern cap melted alone completely, the surface of Mars is covered with a water layer of 11 meters thickness. Since the thin atmosphere, it is very cold on Mars: the average temperature is about -50 ° C, and the cold winter night can be up to -125 ° C. The planet gets from the sun two times less energy than the earth (or more precisely, 43%), and most of this heat is re-emitted into space. Sealing the atmosphere will reduce these losses and raise the average temperature. Initial heating to start the process of melting and evaporation of water and the release of gases are possible in many ways: heating the planet’s surface using directional orbital solar mirrors, darkening the surface of the polar caps black or polymer films.

There are as well different philosophical and political challenges for living on Mars; therefore, it has been found that terraforming the planet is more negative than a positive process.

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