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Terraforming of Mars (wikipedia.org)
21 points by olalonde on July 7, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

I propose that links to random wikipedia articles should be considered below the threshold of "interesting" for the front page of HN. Who's with me?

I'm normally very liberal about submissions-- I figure whatever we upvote belongs here. But this... I don't understand why this even got submitted.

I presume this is a follow on to the recent top story regarding colonization of Mars come reality show next decade.

I 100% agree. If this is allowed to continue HN's front page will soon look like /r/TIL

This would never make the front of Reddit. What would the headline be... "TIL that some people speculate about terraforming Mars"?

No, the trick is to pick some obscure impressive sounding factoid from the article and use it as the headline. Then link to the root of the article so that anyone interested in it has to search for it.

Sometimes I wish that some of the current Wikipedia article could be sent back in time to the early days of Wikipedia. Contributors and readers from that time would be blown away.

The easiest initial way to live on Mars is not to terraform, but to build huge insulated cities, perhaps by remote-controlled robot years before we first get there. Terraforming could come much later by those who already live there. Earth might need insulated cities in the future, if the air is polluted enough, so perhaps that'd be a premiminary learning exercise in how to build them. Of course, Mars is anywhere from 4 to 20 light-minutes away, so the robots would at least need to be semi-intelligent, so prior experience building colonies on the Moon, only a few light seconds away, would help. And the Moon would be just as hospitable as Mars anyway, if we're building insulated cities. Rebuilding by robot in a radiated nuclear wasteland on Earth might even be a learning exercise for building on the Moon.

As for the low gravity in each place, wouldn't children born there adapt as they grow up, with a bit of medical help of course. Although their parents could move from a higher gravity environment to a lower easily enough, I wouldn't imagine anyone could move from the environment they grew up in to a higher-gravity one, so anyone born on the Moon or Mars would be doomed to live there forever I'd imagine.

Mars does not have a magnetosphere. You can't live there without shielding, end of story.

They mention a lot of options like transporting hydrocarbons from Titan or Ammonia from the outer solar system (as methods for atmosphere formation).

Clearly the best source of CO2 is to export it from Earth. A space railway from Earth to Mars for shipping CO2 would be at least as practical as any of the other options.

A space railway from Earth to Mars is dreaming. 100 million miles is not a trivial task.

Terraforming mars is a waste of time and this is all nonsense from Robert Zubrin.

There are more profitable and, more importantly, more worthwhile endeavors outside of our solar system seeking other worlds.

You can't fix Mars' 30% gravity and you can't fix the lack of a magnetosphere (unless you make the atmosphere so incredibly thick that it is impossible to live there).

The delta V requirements to go from the outer solar system to Mars are far less than those required to go from Earth to Mars. Plus, an ammonia iceteroid can be moved around virtually for free (with significant mass lost upon arrival) since ammonia can serve as rocket fuel, and thus the iceteroid can act as a giant fuel tank.

Excellent idea. However since mars is right next to the asteroid belt one might easily just use those rather than the "outer" solar system.

Venus has an over abundance of CO2.

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