Saturday, August 15, 2009

Transforming Mars

Wikipedia has a fascinating article on how to terraform Mars into a kinder, gentler planet suitable for Earthly life forms:

Another intriguing Martian factoid comes from the continuing studies of data returned from last year's Phoenix lander. The chemical evidence from the ovens that baked the polar soil samples suggests that films of liquid water were probably present in the recent past, an environment that could have supported microbial life (if any existed).

More Earth-like than either Venus (way to hot) or Saturn's moon Titan (way too cold), Mars offers a tempting platform for study, experimentation, and perhaps a future home for life forms that may have initially developed on Mars, and then were spread to Earth on meteoric debris kicked up by comet and asteroid bombardments as Mars itself began to cool and die, it's future stolen from it by its small size and thin atmosphere. Consider this irony: what if Mar's distant progeny were to be the ones to bring life back to this tiny, still-born world?