The concept of terraforming developed from both science fiction and actual science. The term was coined by Jack Williamson in a science-fiction short story ("Collision Orbit") published during 1942 in Astounding Science Fiction, but the concept may pre-date this work.
Terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") of a planet, a satellite, or other body is the process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to the environment of the Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life.Today this problem is mainly of a theoretical interest, but in the future it can be developed in practice.
Today, Mars is considered the most interesting candidate for terraforming, during this process, the Martian climate, surface and other characteristics of the planet should be consistently changed in order to make large spaces on the planet's surface more suitable for human life, thereby facilitating colonization, making it safer and more stable.
Picture 1. Artist's conception of the process of terraforming Mars.
A lot of research has been done on the possibility of heating the planet and transforming its atmosphere, currently there are many disputes in this regard. Themain subject of controversy is the practicality and duration of terraforming.There are also a number of unresolved issues regarding logistics, economics, ethics, and the politics of changing the distant world.
At this moment, there are even several methods that are part of the technological capabilities of mankind, but today no government or society is ready to spend such a huge amount of economic resources.
Marshall Savage, in his Millennium Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Simple Steps, put forward the thesis that colonization of other planets is inevitable due to future population growth and resource requirements. Colonization of space will make it easier for humanity to collect the energy and material resources available in the Solar System . This point of view is quite realistic and reasonable.
Ethical issues involve the danger of the potential crowding out of local Martian life forms with terrestrial ones, if such life forms, even microbial ones, do exist.
The Martian environment creates several significant obstacles that must be overcome for successful terraforming, in addition, the scale of terraforming can be limited by certain key environmental factors. Differences of the Martian environment from the earth include:
Low light level (approximately 59% of the Earth) .
Weak gravity, 38% of the Earth
Ionizing solar and cosmic radiation on the surface.
Average temperature is -63 °C (Earth is 14°C)
The complete lack of water in liquid form.
Dust storms that sometimes cover the entire surface of the planet.
The planet has a very weak magnetic field, which is not able to protect the surface from the deadly solar wind
We gradually approached the question - what the colonization of Mars will give to the humanity , for which terraforming is necessary. Colonization of Mars allows us to resume the demographic development of mankind and solve the problem of overpopulation of our home planet. Also, the colonization of Mars creates the prospect of space travel beyond the limits of the solar system, by creating an intermediate point on the planet for space flights. The colonization of Mars creates a kind of security system for planet Earth before a possible planetary cosmic catastrophe (Mars can serve as a spare planet for life). The colonization requires the coordinated work of many nations, this can contribute to improving the global cohesion of mankind. Colonization of Mars and its terraforming will give people invaluable useful experience and expand the understanding of humanity about life and planets as a whole, creating the conditions for further development in this direction.
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