Terraforming

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Artist's conception of a terraformed Mars in four stages of development

Terraforming is a process of taking an inhabitable planet and making it habitable for living organisms. This can be done by adding an atmosphere, heat, and water. Mars is considered by many to be the best candidate for terraformation. Much study has been done on the possibility of heating the planet and altering its atmosphere, and NASA has put some input into this idea, but the economic resources to terraform are far too much for any government to be willing to donate.

Many people say that it is possible to terraform Mars, our Moon, Titan, Callisto, Mercury and dozens of other moons.


Ethical problems[change | change source]

Looking at what we did to this earth, many people think that planets should be left without human interference. Others say that terraforming sounds ethically sound once we know that the planet we are terraforming has no other life of its own, but if it does, while we should not try to reshape the planet to our own use, we should engineer the planet's environment to artificially nurture the alien life and help it thrive and co-evolve, or even co-exist with humans.

Political problems[change | change source]

There are many potential political issues for terraforming a planet, such as who gets to own the terraformed land on the new planet. It could be national governments, organizations like the United Nations, corporations etc. Such settlements may become national disputes as countries try to make portions of other planets part of their own national territory.

References[change | change source]

  • Oberg, James Edward (1981). New Earths: Restructuring Earth and Other Planets. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA.