Aug 21, 2018

Rethinking the Mars terraforming debate

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space

In late July, Bruce Jakosky and Christopher Edwards published a paper titled “Inventory of CO2 available for terraforming Mars,” which was sponsored by NASA. The paper analyzed the amount of volatiles, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), on or in Mars currently, and concluded reasonably that there are not enough volatiles available on Mars to terraform it sufficiently for a person to not need a pressure suit. Jakosky is the principal investigator for MAVEN, the NASA Mars orbiter studying the planet’s atmosphere. He and his co-author wrote what is technically an accurate paper, in spite of what was an existing mild controversy over the amount of some volatiles in the soil and regolith of Mars.

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