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YEAR POSTED: 2009
Terraformation is the only viable idea for colonizing the outer limits of space. It is the process of artificially created serene factors for hospitality of life on a previously inhospitable planet. Without terraformation, the ability to survive on a hostile, temperature-extreme, barren world such as Venus or Saturn's moon Titan would require far to intense of societal and technological demands.
The terraformation of any world was previously thought to require a time scale on the order of at least twenty to fifty thousand years being that humanity is nowhere near being close to reproduce the god-like effects of nature on a celestial body as big as a planet.
Fortunately, the process of terraformation will most likely take on the order of a few hundred years to terraform an individual celestial body from even the most inhospitable state of existence. The terraforming of the Martian surface will necessitate just three to four hundred years in Robert Zubrin's, an influential scientist who founded the Mars Society, astounding process. Zubrin's fateful idea involves the use of four vital steps of stealing the red planet.
The first phase of Zubrin's idea is to start the warming of the Martian surface; the first essential step to terraformation. The scientist proposes three possible ways to accomplish this difficult task. Option A is to place thousand upon thousands of orbital mirrors into the Martian sky so the sun's heat will reflect and warm the planet; this is obviously unfeasible and highly impractical. Option B would yeild tremendously amazing outcomes but is considered far to advanced for current technology to achieve. It involves somehow flinging an fairly moderate-sized asteroid into the surface. This would bring one trillion tons of water and potentially raise the surface temperature by thirty-seven degrees. The final and most plausible option would be to build dirty industrial factories to fill the atmosphere with a gas known as tetraflouromethane (CF4). After many decades, this could potentially raise the temperature by fifty degrees.
The warming process is far from terminated. The next step in warming the Martian surface and atmopshere will be to let surface trapped greenhouse gases free. This essential idea of letting free the remnant gases should raise the temperature by a mere ten degrees; but in as little as twenty years. In addition, the thawing of some ice found in the polar regions of Mars would cause evaporation. This evaporation would lead to the very first signs of weather and light rain.
Since the temperature is warm enough (not necessarily warm), humanity will have to plant appropriate flora and foliage in the third and second to last step of the Martian terraformation concept. These plants and trees will convert some of the carbon dioxide in the atmopshere into oxygen. By now, Martian residents will no longer need space suits to walk outside, though they will still need pure breathable oxygen. The atmosphere of Mars will be thick enough to fly planes and build domed structures for living and working (for better oxygen management as well).
The fourth and final phase of Zubrin's imagineably possible idea is to plant farms and agriculture, as well as initiate small plans to seed forests. This plant-life will convert much of the atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen for a breathable environment where individuals can leave there domed buildings and breathe without oxygen tanks. The temperature would be suitable for swimming in the small oceans, seas, and lakes that have amassed around the planet; Mars is a terraformed planet.
Venus is a small rocky world who's greenhouse effect has run amok over the past millions of years. This effect has left Venus completely lifeless and tremendously inhospitable with a surface temperature of beyond nine hundred degrees and storms that rain sulfuric acid. It would seem that terraformation and making this world hospitable is impossible, but fortunately it is not.
Seeing as how we will not need the space on Venus for many centuries, when we finally do we will have the reasonable technology to accomplish the feat. The main thing humanity will necessitate to achieve is slamming many icy comets into the atmosphere without to much of the ices melting off in transport. We will most likely do this by wrapping the comets in ultra-reflective paper as modelled in the novel 3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. The water that is melted by the impact and found in the comets will create oceans of burning hot liquid that will eventually cool in due time with more and more frozen chunks of rock. The next thing to do would be to impregnate the oceans with bacteria to convert Venus' atmosphere of carbon dioxide into a hospitable oxygen-rich environment.
Besides the desolate surface of Mars and the blistering terrain of Venus, another inevitable home on humanity's journey to the stars is the closest to home. Orbital space is the region just beyond the edge of the atmosphere, where space really begins. The technique of colonizing orbital space will not require any form of terraformation and will probably not involve the use of huge, circular space hotels. More appropriate would be the use of taught space elevators connected to cities hundreds of miles above the ground. An orbital city's sky would be filled with the curvature of Earth and the blackness beyond. Because of the centrifugal force, an artificial gravity roughly that of Earth's would be placed upon the city.
A hypothetical space habitat would be an astroengineered structure known as a Stanford Torus. The concept was dreamt up from professors and students alike teaching and enrolling in Standford University in 1975. Essentially, a Stanford Torus is a donut-shaped ring approximately one mile in diameter which spins about its center once per minute to create artificial gravity on the edges where ten thousand to one hundred thousand residents could permanently live.
The environment of a Stanford Torus could potentially contain lakes and rivers and be indentical to a dense suburban area interspersed with agricultural fields. Skyscrapers and buildings over one hundred feet in height would be non-existent due to the fact that they throw off the orbital speed of the structure and cause adverse gravitational effects.
World Union Of Extraterrestrial Property Rights
The Wold Union of Extraterrestrial Property Rights (WUERP) is a coperation constructed in 2039 by ten real estate members of every spacefaring nation that has actually performed a manned space mission to a certain celestial body. WUERP was founded to control unauthorized sale of land on the lunar and Martian surfaces. A law passed by congress in 2076 that stated that the organization itself solely has control over extraterrestrial property. By this law, wealthy citizens who want to purchase land on the moon or Mars will not have to be forwarded by the WUERP to a nation's government, but can follow a transaction at any WUERP outlet around the world.