The solar system is currently investigated by the armada of NASA spacecrafts that travel through the space in search of water, which is a necessary substance for the formation of complex macromolecules (Matus, 2014). In turn, these macromolecules are the basis of life. These actions are done in terms of terraforming, i.e. artificial climatic change of planets, moons, and any other space objects to bring conditions to the state, in which it is possible to develop and maintain the life of terrestrial animals and plants (Whittington, 2005). The term first appeared in the science-fiction novel by Jack Williamson, which was published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1942 (Beech, 2009). Today terraforming no longer seems an insane idea of science fiction but is of both theoretical and practical interest to scientists.
As the water is the most important source of life, the main task of terraforming is the creation of water and oceans on other planets to make them habitable. It is an ocean, which gave birth to every living creature on the Earth (Mitchell, 2010). Thus, the importance of water existence on the planet is one of the key factors for creating a new home for human beings. The ideas of creating the “new Earth” now arise two opposite opinions. It is easy to understand that one half of scientists say this is a bad and impossible idea, and others think it is possible and develop the ways of terraforming (Oberg, 1983).
The ideas of creating the surface water on Mars, Venus, Io or other theoretically habitable planets and space objects do not seem such a fiction, when one tries to investigate them. The way of creating the oceans on the Solar System planet differs due to the planets’ initial condition. Initially, making the water existent outside the Earth brings about such problems as temperature, gravity, atmospheric pressure and its density, the rate of rotation, and the sunlight emission to be solved (NASA Science, n.d.). For example, Venus has extremely high temperatures and due to this hoping for the existence of the liquid water is fruitless since it would simply evaporate (Beech, 2008). Thus, the way out for Venus is the decrease in temperature by means of bombarding the planet with small icy asteroids, which would probably increase the rotation of the planet and the atmospheric pressure and, thus, would lead to the water appearance. Appearance on the surface of Venus of freely flowing water would promote the leaching of calcium oxide from the soil. The resulting alkaline solution is able to absorb the carbon dioxide, whereby the atmospheric pressure would be noticeably decreased. On the example of Venus, other planets have to go through similar transformations. Thus, the conclusion is simple: the oceans may be formed on the surfaces of other planets. However, the state of modern technologies and efforts to be taken towards this goal’s achievement do not allow for immediate accomplishment. The solutions sound very optimistic, but the actions, calculations and constructions for the inhabitation of other planets are too complicated in terms of the modern state of humanity (Oberg, 1983).
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Mars is one of the most suitable planets for terraforming in the whole Solar System. Significant reserves of water and oxygen in the composition of peroxides and ozonides in the soil of Mars provide a strong reason to believe that terraforming the planet would be possible for directional effects on the Martian climate (NASA Science, n.d.). Thus, since the water already exists on the planet, the task is only to spread it around the planet. For example, one of the ways to cover Mars with liquid water is to melt its ice caps. As a result, the planet would be covered with HO2 by 11 meters (Matus, 2014). However, due to the low temperature on the plate surface the liquid state of the water should be maintained. The way out is to increase the temperature on the planet by constructing greenhouse gases plant, operating on the solar energy. Another way is to install huge mirrors in the space that would direct the sunlight to the Mars thus heating it. In addition, the Mars’ atmosphere is another challenge to overcome. It has too low density to protect the planet surface from ultraviolet light and as a result maintain the heat on Mars. The greenhouse gas factories and the CO2 gas, which is said to be closed in the Mars’ ice caps, would help to make the atmosphere denser and livable (Kearney, 2011). In addition, the increase in temperature is proposed to live out by the inoculation of extremophile bacteria, which would produce the CO2 and thus make the Mars’ atmosphere denser and the temperature higher (Beech, 2009).
The mentioned way is complicated, but theoretically possible. Among other ways to create an ocean on the Mars’ surface one can find a similar solution to the Venus scenario. It is bombarding the planet with icy asteroids with ammonia. This would produce tonnes of greenhouse gases and water on the planet, thus, the temperature would be increased, the water would exist and within a relatively short period, the planet would become habitable. This way is extreme and risky since the blows would release hundreds of atomic energy and thus the air due to the radiation would not be appropriate for human beings to live for several billions of years (Oberg, 1983).
The most common disadvantage of the mentioned solutions is the time required for their implementation. Another way is the so-called paraterraforming, i.e. the creation of a habitable world under the special domes. This would neither turn the whole planet into a habitable one, nor will it create such oceans that the humanity is accustomed to, but it will make the parts of the planes habitable, with lakes and small artificial rivers (Beech, 2009). This solution is rather quick in comparison to the change of the climate across the whole planet. However, the main disadvantage of it is that it does not create the future oceans.
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