Leonard David of Space.com has reported that there is a plan to make Mars habitable by humans by the end of this century. While this idea has been discussed for years, there is a definite plan of attack for the first time.
Lowell Wood, a noted physicist introduced his plan a few days ago that is being called a breakthrough in the future of humanity. There are some that are claiming that Wood could be a genius that will be remembered for the next few thousand years by humanity.
Terraforming is the process of altering a planet to suit a species needs. Essentially, humans have been terraforming the Earth for the last thousand years.
Woods plan suggests that one of the first issues that humans would have to address on Mars is the fact that the Mars is a very cold planet. Humans would have to create a new atmosphere for Mars. This atmosphere would cause a greenhouse effect at warm the core temperature of Mars.
This greenhouse effect would also make Mars more susceptible for water and plant life. The new plant life would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Other steps would have to be taken, but in a short time, animal and human life would be able to be sustained on the red planet as well.
Wood pointed out in his plan that most of the technology that would be needed to terraform Mars has either already been discovered, or is very close to being discovered. This plan to terraform Mars is something that would take decades to finish, but should be started very soon.
Wood believes that it would take roughly three decades to warm Mars to the point that it would be needed to for the preservation of life. Then, Mars would have what he calls a, “Great Spring.” Most of the modifications that would be needed after this would be fairly mild in comparison.
There are many scientists that believe that the future of the planet Earth looks fairly bleak. While the entire population of the planet would not be able to be moved to Mars, there is a significant portion that could be. This would lighten the load of population growth and the use of natural resources.
There are many scientists and other groups that are taking note of this breakthrough plan. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the nations of the world to support this plan and to put it into motion.
Space.com, Leonard David, Scientist Calls Mars a Terraforming Target for the 21st Century, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/070623_mars_terraform.html