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#26 2020-06-30 10:16:20

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Thanks.  I would suggest devoting energy to moving water vapor to the upper atmosphere, where the sun's U.V. may split it, most of the Hydrogen to float off.  But with a artificial magnetic protection most of the Oxygen to stay.  Magnetic field to be an energy drain as well

Hope you can tolerate my presence.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-30 10:17:03)


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#27 2020-06-30 10:56:26

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

I appreciate your clear thinking.  You answered one of my big questions about why the atmosphere is at the pressure it is.  Flowing fresh water I think.  I do think however it may be a while before CO2 loss will be a giant problem.  It may be that there are reservoirs of it in the regolith that will stave it off for a while.

I read recently that Mars is at a tipping point between being very dry or being very humid.  I think probably so.

Done.


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#28 2020-06-30 11:28:52

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
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Posts: 551

Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Void wrote:

Thanks.  I would suggest devoting energy to moving water vapor to the upper atmosphere, where the sun's U.V. may split it, most of the Hydrogen to float off.  But with a artificial magnetic protection most of the Oxygen to stay.  Magnetic field to be an energy drain as well

Hope you can tolerate my presence.

Done.

That is an excellent idea.  The Martian ionosphere starts at a height of 120km.  We could fire ice shells into the ionosphere using a mass driver canon.  This would take about 500KJ/kg  - which is 30 times less than the amount needed for electrolysis.

Instead of 1000TW, some 33TW would suffice.  That is more achievable and it brings forward the date at which terraforming can begin.

I note that Olympus Mons is some 22km above Martian datum height.  The pressure at the top is 0.3mbar.  Maybe we could pump water into the caldera and let it boil and sublime?

Last edited by Calliban (2020-06-30 11:46:39)


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#29 2020-06-30 14:31:27

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

I would seem that water must be deposited above 90km in order for dissociation to be effective.  So mass drivers it is.
https://www.foxnews.com/science/a-giant … into-space


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#30 2020-06-30 17:01:32

SpaceNut
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

https://www.mide.com/interplanetary-air … calculator
https://www.psi.edu/epo/explorecraters/hellastour.htm

On Olympus Mon’s peak, Its pressure is at 30 pascals (0.0044 psi) and in the lowest point of Hellas Planitia it can get as high as 1,155 pascals (0.1675 psi). Its average pressure would be 600 pascals (0.087 psi). The scale height of Mar’s atmosphere is around 6.8 miles (11 km).The western part of the Hellas basin contains the lowest point on Mars, about 8.2 kilometers below the Mars datum or Martian "sea level". Olympus Mon’s peak is roughly 21.3km above Mars datum or Martian "sea level"

Boyles Law:   P1V1 = P2V2  at constant temperature tells us how the volume of a gas changes with changes in pressure, or vice versa, how the pressure of gas changes if we change its volume.

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#31 2020-06-30 17:57:44

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

I note your post Spacenut.  In passing I have speculated on pipelines/tunnels/lavatubes, where some Hydrogen bearing gas could be passed to the summit of the high mountains.  Then to make rocket fuel and Oxygen.  Then to leap from the landing places down low, and to refill propellants and to leap to orbit.  A long way off though, a mature civilization might do that, I think.  Or at least an adolescent one.  Not a baby.

I do have some other weird things....I am afraid this may be weird day. smile

I you compressed and condensed CO2 or maybe even better Methane, at the tops of these mountains, and let the liquid spin turbines all the way down, would there be a net energy gain.  Particularly, if you gasified the fluid to send it up through pipes again?  That is turbines up and turbines down.  Evaporated gas and then fluids.  Solar at the bottom I suppose.  Been wondering about that for a long time.  The rift valley as well.  We are certainly not up to it at this time.  Perhaps fusion will render it silly.

But, I have wondered about the altitude of a molecule, the energy it represents.  That is where I started with this.  It is a suborbital molecule, so has energy of position of altitude.  And then we have the intense cold of the night that must occur at that location so high.  And yet the solar energy, which may be some of the best of Mars, at that high location.

Ya, wasted thinking perhaps.  You can ignore.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-30 17:59:03)


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#32 2020-06-30 18:00:32

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Calliban,

Good tool.

I request your tolerance.  I have traveled today, and when that happens, I think different.

What I think I know about Martian history is;
-Early period, thick atmosphere, magnetic field, water.
-From that period, something like today, but oscillating to situations where there can be raging rivers, up to 1 billion years ago.
-Since 1 billion years ago, perhaps 1/4 to double the current mean value of 5.5 mbar.  At best temporary streams and snowfall possible in the thickest atmospheric situations.

------

And I speculate on the rest;
-How much expose ice?
-The atmospheric pressure.
-The planets tilt.
-How much dust is mobile?
-Is there an ozone layer?
-If the planet is in a moist period, is there a cloud diode effect?

And I am sure there could be other things we do not have factored.

It does not seem that raging rivers are a possibility by now, not without serious interference by humans.

When I worked, part of the time I was involved with process control.  So, I will likely think of things that way.

Current dust storms, actually draw moisture into the upper atmosphere, where U.V. splits it.  Somehow though there is not a serious additional accumulation of Oxygen that has been noted.

I fear that it is the sunshine, the solar wind, and perhaps some Oxygen levitation by electrical field.  I have read that for Mars the electrical field is far lower than that of Venus, however I am inclined to think it could be part of the problem.

A solution could be a artificial magnetic field.

I think that if we work hard to generate Oxygen we don't want it to float away.

Your mass driver, if moisturizing the upper atmosphere will provide Oxygen, but until it is split it will be a greenhouse gas as well, which we probably would want.

I think that once upon a time Mars had much more exposed ice than now, and so naturally would provide moisture and then so, Oxygen.

Some water is presumed to have been lost to space, but there is one large deposit at the poles, that is about 1 mile down.

So, Mars is not what it was.  Before such a deposit might have melted underground and gushed up at some point from an Earthquake or asteroid hit.  But apparently not now.

------

The role of dust:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusae_Fossae_Formation
Thought to have provide the dust.

How I think dust works/worked.

I think that dust may have helped to get water to the upper atmosphere, as it does now, but in greater quantities back then.
I think that if the rate of Oxygen generation were high enough that might have allowed for some liquid water, maybe raging rivers.  But that is speculation, maybe water vapor in those days was prevalent enough to make it up there itself.

But the thing about raging rivers and open water is that they are dust collectors.  And as you have mentioned they suck up atmosphere into sediments.  Dust sediments perhaps in water.

So, with such a potential oscillation over time, this could explain why there is thought that there were periods of raging rivers, between very arid periods up to 1 billion years ago.  More expose ice/water then, more geothermal, volcanism, and maybe an asteroid strike here and there.

I guess that is a lot.  Hope you are not put off.  I suggest this model, which may be partially right, since if we are going to try to manipulate the reality of Mars, it may be helpful to try to understand what it may have been.  So as to more accurately manipulate it to our needs.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-30 18:28:52)


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#33 2020-07-01 05:13:56

Calliban
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Void, thankyou for an excellent and informative post.  My hunch is, that I would need a lot more knowledge about the structure and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere than I actually have, in order to devise an effective terraforming plan.  But your post is helpful and I thank you.

I wonder about building some sort of high tower, which could deliver water to a height of 100km, say.  At the top, there would be a diffuser of some kind that sprays the water into fine droplets, which would rapidly sublime in the vacuum.  Presumably, the tower would be constructed from steel and would be tapered to reduce pressure at the base.  It would need to be braced for stability, probably using bracing cables that are anchored to the ground.  These would probably be glass or carbon fibre.  If we built it at the top of a Tharsis volcano, it would eliminate the need to consider wind loading.  We would pump water up the tower using centrifugal pumps.  These could actually be staged up the tower.

I wonder if loss of oxygen would actually be a problem in an ionosphere heavily loaded with ions?  The hydrogen ions would naturally float to the top and would be lost preferentially.  But I don't know, I am speculating.

I also wonder what fraction of the water delivered to a height of 100km would successfully dissociate before freezing out at the Martian poles.  It would take about 400KJ to deliver 1kg of water to a height of 100km.  In addition, it would take about 500KJ to melt it from ice in the first place.  So we would need to know the efficiency before we could decide if the plan was viable.

Last edited by Calliban (2020-07-01 05:19:49)


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#34 2020-07-01 06:24:43

tahanson43206
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

For Calliban re #33

Your vision of a tower on Mars reminded me of posts by JoshNH4H, who was active in the forum when I joined. 

The word came up in numerous posts, but I'd like to point out the topic: Space Towers and Skyhooks in particular.

I probably missed the point of Void's idea about placing water in the atmosphere, but it seems to me if that is the intention, then delivering water in a gentle rain from overhead, using harvested comet material as the feedstock, might have some advantages over using the already scarce material on Mars.

(th)

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#35 2020-07-01 08:52:44

Calliban
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Calliban re #33

Your vision of a tower on Mars reminded me of posts by JoshNH4H, who was active in the forum when I joined. 

The word came up in numerous posts, but I'd like to point out the topic: Space Towers and Skyhooks in particular.

I probably missed the point of Void's idea about placing water in the atmosphere, but it seems to me if that is the intention, then delivering water in a gentle rain from overhead, using harvested comet material as the feedstock, might have some advantages over using the already scarce material on Mars.

(th)

Thanks Tahanson.  I will look into the thread you suggested.

Regarding the sourcing of water from other solar system bodies, I would agree that it is desirable from the point of view of avoiding further depletion of Martian water resources.  We would need a ball of water about 90km in diameter to provide enough oxygen for a 100mbar average surface pressure, assuming no water or oxygen is lost to space.  That is less than 1% of the water theorised to be contained within Ceres.   So the asteroid belt has more than enough water to do the job.  It is equivalent to several hundred bodies the size of Halleys comet.  Cometary bodies would also inject much needed nitrogen into the Martian atmosphere.  Interestingly, the same technique could be used to terra form Luna.

To determine the relative practicality of Martian vs interplanetary sources of water, we could compare the amount of energy needed to do the same thing with each resource.  We would also need to deliver the water to the top of the Martian atmosphere without seriously endangering any colonies on the surface.  That may mean delivering it in small packages that will confidently break up in the upper atmosphere.  I think we can get some idea of how much energy needed, if we can estimate the dV required to deliver water to the top of the atmosphere from other bodies in the solar system.  Ceres is the closest, though the Jupiter Trojans and short period comets are also a possibility.

Last edited by Calliban (2020-07-01 09:03:25)


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#36 2020-07-01 09:12:44

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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

It's three orders of magnitude higher, but send volatiles from Jupiter are around 100-200 MJ per kilogram.

This is a backup plan if there is no enough volatiles on Mars to terraforming. The energy is a lot less if use near Mars objects but they are scarce and it needs to be moved through rockets

A Ganymede-Mars system could send volatiles using a rail launcher. No rocket equation is used here so just kinetic energy of a transfer orbit depending of planet positions. The decomposition of elements is not necessary. The kinetic energy is far above the requirement, so the impact or friction would be more than enough to do that.

Solar energy income is on the Petawatt scale so ignoring the economic problems of doing so enormous task (we can assume that we could develop a exponential robot workforce on space so the limit are resources and energy, not time)... Petawatt its the reasonable amount of power that we can use on Mars without generate other side problems.


I guess the best plan is use the most efficient way to reach minimal deployment of a semiterraformed Mars (life tolerant, liquid compatible) and use later the "unlimited resources" plan and import as much as needed to reach a complete Earth-biocompatible planet, with no water restrictions, nitrogen and oxygen.

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#37 2020-07-01 10:51:48

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Spaniard, with a continuing nod to others also,

I think by approximation most of the time which would be sort of equivalent to a coarse adjustment.  We have quite a lot of fine thinkers here, and it is very important that they all be retained as assets to our similar objectives.

We may have this undermentioned potential asset:
https://news.agu.org/press-release/mult … polar-ice/
Quote:

Multiple former ice caps buried under Mars’s north polar ice

Credit ISRO / ISSDC / Emily Lakdawalla.

AGU press contact:
Lauren Lipuma, +1 (202) 777-7396 (GMT-4), llipuma@agu.org
Contact information for the researchers:
Stefano Nerozzi, University of Texas at Austin, +1 (512) 471-6156 (GMT-5), stefano.nerozzi@utexas.edu
Jack Holt, University of Arizona, +1 (520) 626-7469 (GMT-7), holt@lpl.arizona.edu

WASHINGTON—Scientists have discovered remnants of ancient ice sheets buried in sand a mile beneath Mars’s north pole, they report in a new study. The findings show conclusive evidence of the waxing and waning of polar ice on the red planet due to changes in its orbit and tilt, according to the study’s authors.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona made the discovery using measurements gathered by the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. SHARAD emits radar waves that can penetrate up to a mile and a half beneath Mars’s surface.
The new findings, published today in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters, are important because the layers of ice are a record of past climate on Mars in much the same way that tree rings are a record of past climate on Earth, according to the researchers. Studying the geometry and composition of these layers could tell scientists whether climate conditions were previously favorable for life.
The team found layers of sand and ice that were as much as 90 percent water in some places. If melted, the newly discovered ice would be equivalent to a global layer of water around Mars at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep, which could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet, according to the researchers.

Water ice is usually expanded as relative to liquid water.  They calculate water from it though at about 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep.  Please forgive me but in units of depth, it is a bit easier for me to think in feet to do crude math.

100 feet is ~1000 mbar.  (Close enough).

A query told me that water is ~88.9% Oxygen.  So, with a perfect efficiency of such Oxygen to the atmosphere, that should be the equivalent of 5*88.9=4.445 of the content of water.  So, if 1 foot = ~10 mbar, then with perfect efficiency, 44.45 mbar that could be added to the atmosphere from that reservoir.

The surface materials are more accessed however.  1 mile deep of sand they say.  Could it be sandstone?  I don't know.  Over eons of time, can sand at subzero temperatures cement into sandstone?

Can ice pockets including lakes and frozen rivers, ever end up covered in rock from wind blown deposits?  So far we don't see holes in the ground, as we do for lava tubes.  Maybe it is not possible. 

But a mile down would not be too deep to drill down through on Mars, not too deep for Earth either.

If there is substantial rock, then my wild idea might be to build cylindrical supports in holes that could be carved in the ices, they would have to be massive for 1 mile of rock though.  But if constructed of Metals, the Oxygen from that refining would also be available.

If not possible to support the roof with massive effort, then just melt the water somehow, and let it gush up, as the overburden drops.

It is not said, but perhaps there are clathrates in the Martian regolith as well, involving Methane or Nitrogen.

So, this is interesting in that regard:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_ … atmosphere.
Quote:

Nitrogen clathrate or nitrogen hydrate is a clathrate consisting of ice with regular crystalline cavities that contain nitrogen molecules. Nitrogen clathrate is a variety of air hydrates. It occurs naturally in ice caps on Earth, and is believed to be important in the outer Solar System on moons such as Titan and Triton which have a cold nitrogen atmosphere.

I do not subscribe to the notion that all atmospheric loss is due to floating off into space.  I do think that there may be some hard to access resources in the deeps of Mars.

-----

In order to not be overly talkative, I would suggest that terraforming Mars may take the form of moving upward in a series of platforms.

We are fortunate that Mars appears to be in the middle of the range that it is said it can independently support.  1/4 of current ambient pressure up to 2 times the current Martian ambient pressure.  This may allow us to bump it up to somewhere between 5.5 to 11 mbar as the average, with higher pressures in the low spots.

I think that is a good start.  It should allow snowfalls, but the weather patterns will not necessarily distribute the snow pack to the same locations where the current ice slabs are.  I presume that when they were deposited, the tilt of Mars was different, the output of the sun was slightly lower, and other factors, such as how big is the dust reservoir.  At the higher end, where it is 11 mbar, it is said that temporary stream may result from snow melts.  This could very likely lead to the formation of ice covered lakes in some locations.

A thicker atmosphere will warm the poles more than the equator???  Not sure for Mars.  But I would expect a redistribution of ice on the surface, and hopefully less on the ice caps.  If persuasion is required, then Elon Musk's orbital nuclear flash bombs may persuade the ice to partially migrate from the polar deposits.

If more water vapor in the thicker air, then more greenhouse effect from that.  And we presume Oxygen to the atmosphere.  Would a Ozone layer result?  We don't know.  I do know that they have recently found that the atmosphere of Venus is partially stratified, where more Nitrogen is in the upper layers.  The Martian atmosphere due to a low gravity will be rather deep, and so perhaps to a degree Oxygen will stratify up high, and maybe some Ozone form.  But we may not want too strong of an Ozone layer.  But that should not be a problem as we know of chemicals that will allow that overkill to be moderated.

So, my best case for this first platform of 5.5-11.0 mbar would have these hoped for results.  A "Dry" surface that could support lichens and microbes, maybe fungi.  Some induced ice covered lakes.  Ice fields that we could modify into ice covered seasonal "Tundra" ponds.

And of course clever people will in time invent transparent pressurized enclosures.

Dr. Zubrin, has suggested recently that Mars could allow humans to access the asteroid belt.

So, in that picture, I imagine that Mars can serve as a platform for humans to access the asteroid belt, and perhaps the Trojans, and Callisto.

Not a bad deal.  Quite an improvement in my opinion.

That would set us up for another reach for a higher platform for Mars.

The problems with that are dust storms may become intense or even continual.  Something to avoid I think.
And with raging rivers, we would have disruptions, needs for bridges and tunnels for that, and Calibans concern that atmosphere may rapidly be captured into running water erosion deposits.

So, to go to the next platform, some new tricks may be required.

Reduce the dust loads? Recycle gasses out of sediments?

I think that if we had ice covered lakes with an anoxic bottom layer, it is possible that by adding Hydrogen for microbes to consume, maybe they would reduce the sediments, releasing the volatile materials back into circulation.

Sorry for so many words.  Very exciting.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-01 11:31:33)


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#38 2020-07-01 11:24:19

Terraformer
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

This provides some explanation for why Martian atmospheric pressure is limited to 7mbar.  If it gets much higher, brines can exist on the surface.  The CO2 would dissolve into the brines and react to form carbonate.  Hence, a CO2 atmosphere is unstable on Mars at pressure much greater than 7mbar.

Given that the Martian outgassing rate is far higher than the loss to the solar wind, there has to be *some* explanation for why the pressure is so low... I was hoping it would be clathrates though.

Short of glassing the surface, is there anything we can do to change the surface chemistry to prevent us from losing the atmosphere to the ground?


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#39 2020-07-01 11:37:08

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Thanks Terraformer,

Either a hot process using Hydrogen, or CO, or my preference is a cold process with microbes.

Adding Hydrogen to anoxic water might persuade the critters to extract Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon from the sediments, to build their little bodies.

Some ice covered lakes in Antarctica tend to have a highly Oxygenated cold upper layer, and an anoxic warmer lower layer. 

A best case from our perspective is sub freezing water at the bottom of the ice (But liquid), about twice as salty as the sea.  Photo microbes present.
At the bottom room temperature water, but anoxic.  Microbes there also but not using sunlight.

A problem that ice covered lakes suffer from is a lack of nutrients up high where the algae and cyanobacterial hang out.  Of course humans could intervene for that.  Just add what is needed.

Done.

A walk, I think.  This is fun.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-01 11:38:14)


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#40 2020-07-01 14:48:17

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Caliban, and others,

I ran into this looking for something else:
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/291/d … tmosphere/
Quote:

Dust Storms Linked to Gas Escape from Mars Atmosphere

The gas escape they mention is Hydrogen loss during a global dust storm.

I am going to speculate, (Big surprise), that part of what may drive a global dust storm would be the quantity of moisture in the ground.  Water vapor is much lighter than the dominant gas CO2, so along with updrafts from heat, I suggest that the floatation of water vapor may drive in part the global dust storms.

During a global dust storm, the temperatures rise a bit, and become more constant.  Still we would think it was cold.  But a warming may cause the release of water vapor from the ground.  The upper atmosphere will destroy it, and I think also the polar ice caps already being colder would absorb some of it.  This can explain why the polar ice caps shine white, even after such a dust storm.

I am guessing the ground dries, and the storm dissipates.  But of course it can at least in part from seasonal changes.

It seems reasonable that the Oxygen level must build up slightly, but I am guessing that is then carried off by the solar wind at a more constant rate.

So, if a magnetic field could prevent that, just possibly an ozone layer would build up, and the upper atmosphere would not be "dried" out as readily, as perhaps the U.V. would not dehydrate it as much.

For our purposes we would not want any Ozone layer to be too effective.  But it might also serve to lower the intensity of the storms.

I think that if an Ozone layer would appear, we would use chemicals, perhaps containing Chlorine, to thin it out.  But we might want some protection for life on the ground.

Calibans notions of shooting ice high up may be a fine tuning tool for this process, while manipulating the Ozone and Dust storms, (If possible) would be the larger coarse adjustment.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-01 14:56:36)


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#41 2020-07-01 16:51:28

SpaceNut
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

I had thought that the rise is from solar absorption and from dust friction from collisions. using static fields to be created and that is driving another chemical reaction for chlorides.
https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Elect … e_999.html

There is also
https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/MAVEN … s_999.html

of which I think if we put energy into this current loops that we would build up and or intensify the existing planets mega sphere which would slow the atmospheric losses....

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#42 2020-07-02 02:36:17

Calliban
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Posts: 551

Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Many thanks all, some interesting comments and information.  I agree with Void that pond based microbial life will be the easiest ecosystem to establish as a first step.

The question was raised earlier as to how to prevent Martian CO2 from reacting with basic compounds in the soil and being locked up as carbonate.  One method would be to seed Martian clouds with sulfuric acid.  As more water vapour is injected into the ionosphere, the planet will warm and evaporation will increase.  Sulfuric acid injected into the troposphere at a height of 20km, will precipitate across the entire planet and will react with basic compounds to form sulphates.

So far as hydrogen escape from the ionosphere is concerned, we would want this to happen, at least until a breathable atmosphere is formed.  But we want oxygen ions to remain trapped.

Regarding the design of terra forming towers: these need to reach a height of 120km above the datum surface in order to reach the ionosphere.  If we take advantage of the Tharsis volcanoes, tower height is reduced to 100km.  I would suggest that the simplest design would be a tapered steel tube that is perhaps 10 times wider at its base than at its top.  It would be braced by cables that are anchored to the ground.  Water would be pumped up the tower using staged centrifugal pumps.

The pressure at the bottom of a static column of water 100km high would be 370MPa on Mars.  One way of reducing this pressure would be to inject gas bubbles into the water as it is pumped up the tower.  As water ascends and the static pressure declines, the gas bubbles will expand.  The speed of the flow will increase and the density of the water will decline as bubble volume fraction increases.  At the top, where pressure is almost zero, the flow speed would be almost sonic.  The water would be aspirated into fine droplets that will be ejected at a speed of a couple of hundred metres per second.

One way of reducing the energy requirements of this process would be to use the natural perchlorates that are present on Mars to melt the ice at temperatures as low as of -50C.  This would allow the use of simple solar collectors to melt the ice.  Unfortunately, brines at such low temperatures have high viscosity.  But this may not matter if high diameter pipework is used.

With hydrogen ions escaping, I wonder if the ionosphere would develop a potential difference with the ground?  It would be interesting to explore the possibility of drawing electrical energy from the Martian ionosphere, given that it is possible to build towers that can reach it.

Last edited by Calliban (2020-07-02 03:07:27)


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#43 2020-07-02 13:28:32

Void
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

It is good to think outside of the box as you are doing.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#44 2020-07-02 17:08:51

SpaceNut
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Carbon dioxide is an acidic oxide and so it does not react with sulphuric acid, which is a strong mineral acid.

Also, carbon is in its maximum oxidation state of +4 in CO2 and sulphur in its maximum state of +6 in H2SO4 and so no redox reaction is possible between the two. But, both can act as effective oxidising agents with other substances independently, under certain conditions like high temperatures.


Iron is transition metal with negative standard reduction potential value.Hence, it's oxide,i.e. Iron oxide is basic in nature,as it forms basic solution when dissolved in water.

So on reaction with strong acid like sulphuric acid, iron oxide gives iron sulphate ,water and hydrogen gas.

Fe₂O₃ + H₂SO₄ ——-> FeSO₄ + H₂O + H₂

when sulphuric acid reacts with perchloric acid, oxidising (especially perchloric) acids and are hygroscopic. They are miscible with water. Both the sulphur and the chlorine are at their highest oxidation states (6 and 7, respectively) and so cannot be oxidised further.

Sulphuric acid can be used in the laboratory preparation of perchloric acid from barium perchlorate: Ba(ClO4)2(aq) +H2SO4(aq) ->BaSO4 (s) + 2HClO4, so there is clearly no additional reaction there.

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#45 2020-07-02 17:21:58

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 551

Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Spacenut, the idea is not to react sulfuric acid with CO2, but to neutralise basic compounds in the soil , thereby reducing the rate of loss of CO2 due to carbonate formation.  This would otherwise rapidly draw down atmospheric CO2 levels if terra forming led to wide scale melting of surface water.  CO2 dissolves in water to form H2CO3.  This will rapidly neutralise any bases dissolved in the water, trapping the carbon.

Last edited by Calliban (2020-07-02 17:22:59)


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#46 2020-07-02 18:56:28

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Sure mars has sulfur carbon compounds with in the soils

983ac0d6-224e-493f-a954-a7750e45b1f2-curiosity-organosulfide-graphic-640.png

When CO2 is dissolved in H2O (water), especially when placed under high pressure as in cans of soda, most of it stays dissolve.
It dissolves best in a salty brime solution or Amine of which fresh water does so poorly to not at all.

Solubility of carbon dioxide in water at 25˚C and 1 atm partial pressure


7e2bb150-fed0-41aa-985e-997d5bd8ccb7-rover-arm-gif-640.gif
When Na2CO3 is dissolved in H2O (water) it will dissociate (dissolve) into Na+ and CO3 2- ions.

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#47 2020-07-03 04:10:50

elderflower
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Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Spacenut. What is the document source for Thiophene in Mars' soils?

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#48 2020-07-03 04:46:03

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 551

Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Spacenut provided this link on a different thread.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technolo … ar-AAHAi9Q

It is interesting because it points to evidence that there may be a global layer of liquid water some 2.5 miles thick beneath the Martian surface.  I have read other reports on this, that suggest it may be up to 50km down.

This water is likely to be highly saline, which is not conducive to the potential for microbial life.  It is however enormously important from a terra forming perspective.  If this water is present, it will be highly pressurised because of the weight of the overbearing rock.  If there are any compressed gas pockets within the water, and we could access it by drilling into it, say; then water will rise to the surface at extreme pressure as these gas pockets expand.  If the water is 50km beneath the surface, its pressure may be as much as 500MPa.  If we provide a suitable tower reaching the ionosphere (not a trivial feat   of engineering, but achievable) then the water pressure itself may be sufficient to reach the ionosphere.  Injecting small amounts of gas into the water would reduce its density and head pressure, making this easier.

The point is that if Mars does have deep pressurised water resources, it may allow terra forming with very little expenditure of artificial energy.  The sun provides the energy needed to dissociate the water and Mars provides the liquid brine and propulsive pressure needed to inject it into the ionosphere where the sun can do its work.  Humans need to provide the tower tall enough to reach the ionosphere and a drill capable of reaching 50km.  Not trivial engineering achievements, but much easier than building a million nuclear reactors.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#49 2020-07-03 05:08:14

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 551

Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Thiothenes detected on Mars.  A few years old now.
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opin … soil-64327

If organic compounds like this are present in any abundance, they may be key to naturally neutralizing perchlorate compounds as the planet warms up.


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#50 2020-07-11 11:23:01

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 551

Re: Is terraforming Mars impossible? Maybe not...

Following on from the detection of a deep saline global water deposit on Mars, the thought occurs to me that a highly pressurised deposit 50 miles deep, would have sufficient pressure to reach the top of Olympus Mons, if colonists could provide the pipework.  The caldera is huge and has sufficient surface area to contain a sea.  The caldera is 22km above the mean Martian surface and atmospheric pressure at this height is 0.3mbar.  This is within the Martian stratosphere and any water deposited there would rapidly sublime forming clouds.  If a large fraction of cloud water does enter the ionosphere periodically, it may be practical to slowly build up an oxygen atmosphere in this way, by literally pumping the Martian stratosphere with water vapour.

The neat thing about this is that very little artificial energy is required and the scale of engineering is relatively modest and can be built up incrementally.  Really, just a set of pipework delivering water to the top of Tharsis volcanoes, where nature would do the rest of the work.  We would start with a modest operation and build it up gradually with time, as money permits.

Last edited by Calliban (2020-07-11 11:24:37)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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