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

Terraforming: taking a planet that we can not live on, and changing it so that some of the living things from Earth could live there. This can be done by adding an atmosphere (air), heat, and water. Some people say that Mars is the best place to do this. Much study[which?] has been done about heating the planet and changing its atmosphere, and NASA has put some input into this idea.[source?] But it costs more money than any government can give.

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