Terraforming Mars: How Can We Make It?
In the first part of this discussion, we talked about the origins of the concept of terraforming and the need, in the case of Mars, to start a warming process by releasing the carbon dioxide trapped in the polar ice. In this second part, we will review the methods proposed to do so, concluding with an analysis of the actual feasibility of the operation…
Another way to raise the temperature of the polar ice cap could be to sprinkle it with a black powdery substance (coal dust). This would reduce the amount of sunlight reflected by the ice caps into space and result in the consequent heating of the ice. According to a NASA study, this way the caps could be fully vaporized in a couple of centuries.
Yes, but where to find this “black powder”?
Some say sending it from Phobos and Deimos, which are among the blackest bodies in the Solar System; or introducing dark extremophilic microbial life forms such as lichens, algae and bacteria.
However, Mars is already the second darkest planet in the solar system, absorbing more than 70% of the incoming sunlight, so the space to darken it further is small.
And dig thousands of tons of dark regolith on Phobos and then spread it on the ice … this too must not be a joke …
Not to mention even crazier proposals, such as triggering nuclear reactions inside Phobos to turn it into a small star.
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