How Close Are We to Terraforming Mars?

How Close Are We to Terraforming Mars?


WITH TOWERING VOLCANOES, SWIRLING DUST STORMS, AND PLUMES OF SUBLIMATING DRY ICE AT ITS POLES, THE SURREAL LANDSCAPE OF MARS HAS CAPTURED
THE EARTHLY IMAGINATION FOR CENTURIES. BUT WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO MAKE IT HABITABLE? AS IN, A PLACE WHERE WE COULD BREATHE, WALK
AROUND WITHOUT OUR BLOOD BOILING, OR EVEN GROW CROPS AND ENJOY BLUE SUNSETS? THERE HAVE BEEN SOME WILD PROPOSALS ABOUT
HOW TO MAKE MARS MORE SUITABLE FOR HUMANS FROM NUKING THE POLES TO HIJACKING A FLEET
OF COMETS IN ORDER TO KICKSTART A NEW CLIMATE. SO, HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO TERRAFORMING MARS? TERRAFORMING IS A TERM THAT WAS
COINED IN SCIENCE FICTION. BUT TODAY, THE IDEA IS BEING THROWN AROUND
BY A HANDFUL OF ACTUAL SCIENTISTS. – Terraforming, put simply, is changing the
atmosphere and climate of a planet so that it can support human life. Without the need for spacesuits. TO SURVIVE ON MARS, THAT IS, WITHOUT EXTENSIVE EQUIPMENT AND RE-SUPPLY FROM EARTH, WE’D NEED TO BE ABLE TO DO A FEW SIMPLE THINGS: BREATHE, STAY CONSCIOUS,
AND NOT FREEZE TO DEATH. IF WE CAN FIGURE OUT THOSE THREE HURDLES, WE’D
HAVE THE LUXURY OF WORRYING ABOUT LONGER-TERM CONCERNS, LIKE HOW TO GROW FOOD, OR SHIELD OURSELVES FROM RADIATION. TRUE, MARS DOESN’T SOUND THAT HOSPITABLE,
BUT AFTER MULTIPLE MISSIONS WE’VE FOUND CLUES THAT THIS WASN’T ALWAYS THE CASE. – We see evidence that there was liquid water running over the surface of Mars. The atmosphere must have been thicker so that
greenhouse trapping of heat from the sun would warm the planet and allow liquid water. – Most of Mars’ atmosphere escaped to space
over the last four billion years. TO RESTORE IT TO A VERSION THAT’S MORE LIVABLE FOR HUMANS, WE’D HAVE TO
ADDRESS BREATHING FIRST. ON EARTH, WE HAVE A DELICIOUS ATMOSPHERE MADE OF AROUND 21% OXYGEN, 78% NITROGEN, AND A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING ELSE. It wouldn’t need to be exactly that mix, but
we would need a very similar amount of oxygen. There certainly is enough water locked up
in ice on Mars to get some O2 for you. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t enough
nitrogen that we could easily get to, to build up an Earth-like, mostly-nitrogen atmosphere. If you’re willing to wear a gas mask, then
the gases could be pretty much anything which isn’t corrosive or acidic. You’d have to carry oxygen on your back. That could be an intermediate step. OKAY, FINE – I’LL AGREE TO WEAR A
DJ MARSHMELLO MASK FOR A LITTLE WHILE IF I COULD SKIP THE SPACE SUIT. SO, THAT BRINGS US TO OUR OTHER GOALS:
STAYING AWAKE AND WARM. AND IT TURNS OUT, THESE TWO
ACTUALLY GO HAND IN HAND. IF YOU STEPPED OUTSIDE ON MARS TODAY,
YOU’D PASS OUT INSTANTLY AND DIE SHORTLY AFTER, AS THE LOW PRESSURE LITERALLY PULLED THE OXYGEN OUT OF YOUR BLOOD. TEMPERATURES ON MARS SIT, ON AVERAGE, AT A
CHILLY −63°C/−81°F. BUT, IF WE COULD THICKEN THE ATMOSPHERE BY
ADDING SOME MASS TO IT, WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO KICKSTART A GREENHOUSE EFFECT THAT WOULD STABILIZE THE TEMPERATURE, AND STAVE OFF SOME OF THAT
DEADLY RADIATION, AS WELL. THAT’S THE ESSENCE OF TERRAFORMING. So the question becomes, is there enough CO2
anywhere on Mars that we can mobilize it and put it back into the atmosphere? – In terms of the very first sort of
easy baby steps of terraforming Mars, would be the release of the
easily accessible CO2. Now, this is the south pole of Mars here. It’s kind of hard to see there, but this is
some water ice, but mostly CO2 ice down here… if you started making the planet warmer, you
would sublimate more of it. Or you could just nuke it. – The fast way is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles. – That would only double the atmospheric pressure on Mars. So we would go from 6% of the
Earth’s atmosphere to 12%. And that’s so not enough to heat up the planet. OTHER SOURCES OF THAT DESIRABLE ATMOSPHERE
FOR TERRAFORMING COULD BE HIDING IN MARTIAN MINERALS AND DUST… BUT THEY’RE
TRICKY TO UNLOCK. Carbon-bearing minerals have to be heated
up to several hundred degrees, so you’d have to strip mine the planet globally
in order to mobilize that CO2. – Mars has 140 trillion square meters. So that’s about a million billion tons of
gas that we would need dug up out of the ground and then vaporized, or somehow released from
those minerals. And the energy required to do that is staggering. You’d need the equivalent of running
10,000 gigawatt nuclear power plants constantly for 10 to 40 thousand years. NOW, WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO USE SOMETHING MORE
EFFICIENT – A SUPER GREENHOUSE GAS LIKE HYDROCHLOROFLUOROCARBONS,
FOR EXAMPLE – BUT WE’D NEED TO BUILD HUNDREDS OF FACTORIES ON THE PLANET’S SURFACE TO PUMP OUT ENOUGH
OF IT TO AFFECT THE CLIMATE. THEN, OF COURSE, WE’D HAVE TO ADD BACK IN
OUR CUSTOM COCKTAIL OF GASES TO ALLOW US TO TAKE OFF OUR GAS MASKS AND OXYGEN TANKS,
LET ALONE GROW ANY CROPS. SO, LET’S INVESTIGATE OUR NEXT OPTION: STEALING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF AN ATMOSPHERE FROM COMETS. There is a large source of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, et cetera, in the form of comets. If you could redirect something like, depending
on how big they are, ten thousand to a million comets, and you were able to crash them into
Mars on purpose… that would be possible, given the distribution of comets
that we have now. – If you’ve got a million kilometer-sized objects
hitting Mars, that would be pretty damaging. It would probably devastate the entire surface. – But really what you would need would be an army of self-replicating robots that could essentially
attach what people call mass drivers, which would be, let’s say, a nuclear power plant
on a comet, which could be fed by the water of that comet and then would use that same
water as propellant to act like a rocket, and over the course of years, redirect those
comets to eventually impact Mars. SOUNDS LIKE SOME PRETTY HEAVY LIFTING. BUT WITH A NEW GLOBAL ENTHUSIASM FOR SPACE
EXPLORATION AT LOWER COSTS, WE MIGHT SEE SOME OF THE TECHNICAL ADVANCES REQUIRED TO INCH US CLOSER TO THIS VISION – LIKE AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION AND IN-SPACE ASSEMBLY OF SPACECRAFT – SOONER THAN WE THINK. BUT EVEN IF WE CAN BUILD AND MASTER
ALL THIS TECHNOLOGY, SHOULD WE CHARGE FORTH IN AGGRESSIVELY
TAILORING THE SOLAR SYSTEM TO OUR SPECIES’ COMFORT ZONE? AND HOW MUCH SHOULD WE PROMOTE THE IDEA OF
HAVING A SPARE PLANET IN OUR BACKYARD? – The danger in doing that is that we then think that we can muck up the Earth and we
have a place to go. Given the difficulty of terraforming Mars,
it’s always going to be easier to keep the Earth’s environment habitable, to repair any
damage we do, then to fix Mars. SO WHILE WE WORK ON MAKING SURE
OUR OWN PLANET’S CLIMATE IS LIVABLE, ALL WE NEED TO DO TO FIX
MARS UP IS FIGURE OUT HOW TO CREATE LEGIONS OF ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT ROBOTS, WHICH CAN CREATE COPIES OF THEMSELVES OUT OF MARTIAN DUST, TO HELP US SET UP MAJOR MINING OPERATIONS, AND VAPORIZE A MILLION BILLION TONS OF ROCK. OR BUILD HYDROCHLOROFLOUROCARBON FACTORIES. OR CAPTURE, RE-DIRECT, AND CRASH LAND A MILLION
COMETS ONTO THE PLANET’S SURFACE WITHOUT COMPLETELY OBLITERATING IT. SO HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO TERRAFORMING MARS? Today, the emphasis is on getting
a first human mission. And even that is really hard and really expensive. – Then we need to establish a scientific outpost,
to show that there’s some level of sustainability on Mars as it is today. Because we need to learn how to live on Mars
as it is today before we can even begin to think about terraforming. The difficult part for me is seeing how we get from the scientific outpost, that limit
of 10 or 20 or 30 people, up to the kind of 10,000 people that it would take in order
to really start the terraforming project. – And that really requires a city on Mars. Is that a hundred years into the future? 500 years? To my mind anything beyond 30 years into the
future is science fiction. – I think the people who ultimately terraform Mars are going to be Martians. They will have been adapted by
generations upon generations of living in lower gravity. They’ll be a lot taller than us. They might have different blood chemistry. They will ultimately start to diverge somewhat
as a species from us, and evolution will slowly take over. They’re still going to be humans, they’re still going to look like us, but they’ll be different enough from us that they’ll be easily identifiable as, “Oh, that’s an Earther. That’s a Martian.” MARS MIGHT BE A LONG SHOT, BUT YOU CAN ORBIT PLANET SEEKER BY HITTING
THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON RIGHT NOW. LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT NEXT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. THANKS FOR WATCHING! SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

100 thoughts on “How Close Are We to Terraforming Mars?

  • Hi there, thanks for watching! For more on ways to make Mars habitable, check out this video about an approach that would involve a giant space magnet: https://youtu.be/5XnpU9ZMFEg

  • Ok idk about the martian thing. We'd have to assume that enough people would die or become sterile in order to actually drive evolution. Why would our mating decisions on mars be different in a way that caused us to be extra tall when we all need to live in spacesuits and sealed environments anyway?

  • mars isnt that viable or valuable for that matter when it comes to colonizing…the moon enceladus would be the best option.

  • The problem with this mars is just to small and was not able to keep a molten core mars core solidified and as a result its protective magnetic shelled is no longer being generated and the ozon and atmosphere where carryed away in to space by the suns solar winds this is why tarraforming mars is a tarrabble ideal

  • Question is how close are we to fixing are own planet. I swear these space fuckers are more worried about other planets than fixing the one that we got. Even if they terraform no one is gonna afford to take their whole family unless their rich

  • I would hope we are focusing o. Tera forming the earth because that would make a lot more sense instead of making zero sense

  • Not likely to happen. We would need a huge amount of equipment and at least 3000 people to move there without killing each other. Look at any prison.  The trip would be long and protecting people from radiation would be a huge problem.  We need more than 100kg of fuel to lift 1kg from Earth and the fuel container weight also needs to be factored into it. The Mars itself has very little magnetic strength to avoid radiation.

  • U r missing 1 point there is no magnetosphere on Mars hence the erosion of its atmosphere even if do all these things ur beautiful face is suggesting its only hona be eroded sooner later

  • 0.0000000000000000.000001 ithink becouse many years to go to mars not enough tools and materials and money not enough storage and food supplies nad if we do it our own creation will be our own distraction

  • I think without magnetic field there will no atmosphere. And without there would be harmful uv radiation, meteor rain etc…
    look at these images …
    https://www.isro.gov.in/pslv-c25-mars-orbiter-mission/pictures-mars-colour-camera-mcc-onboard-india%E2%80%99s-mars-orbiter

  • Why no deathstar like object for a mars moon? Is it not most caust affective on produceing consistent thermal heat and bringing visitors with funding and life support? Also, no need for bombs because a big light collecter beam would have the same impact pluse.

  • Can these geniuses terraform earth first. I mean we know for sure, it has liquid water and hospitable environment already. Just find a way to not ruin it. Then Mars too.

  • As you are busy Terraforming, the earth doesn't function well now we are having floods in South Africa such as Tornado, earthquake e.t.c Plz stop what you are doing it affect the whole world, this is our first time having these things plz

  • terraforming mars is useless. the lower gravity would allow for taller, bigger structures. mars cities will be underground with only launch pads, solar panels and windmills on the surface.

  • God i remeber discussing with all these people believing that we would 100% get to Mars with a manned mission in 2026… Give me a break.

  • Explain how you're going to stabilise Mars' rotation so your terraforming efforts won't be undone by chaotic rotation.

    I mean… absolutely NO ONE (other than myself) has realised this issue, yet.

  • A flaw in the video is not addressing the biggest issues, being the electromagnetic field and keeping the atmosphere from leaking into space.

  • How can a channel like this thats supposed to be about science,facts and logic have a crap flag like that.

  • Every time I hear about Mars, I think about the Algerian national park Tassili N'adjer, that pace is so fascinating, please watch this video, You won't believe your eyes when you see SEFAR drawnigs and RED TADRART ….
    https://youtu.be/jJSj5oxmAPQ

  • Suggesting terraforming Mars is possible but fixing climate change can only be done by ending the beef industry and grounding all planes. Crazy.

  • I think the first thing to do is to strengthen the magnetic field of Mars before the creation of an oxygenated atmosphere if not solar winds will strip off the newly formed atmosphere, without a strong magnetic field, Terraforming on Mars will be useless.

  • Who cares whether me taraform Mars or not. We only live 80 years anyway, let's stop wasting it thinking about things that'll happen 100's of thousands of years later.

  • This is all insane i plays a game called surviving mars and loved it and all this is possible in the game so I already knew all the topics they were talking about

  • Fyi – Contrary to popular opinion Earth is actually habitable and will be for many thousands of years. You can see what I mean by just opening a window.

  • Do not believe any of this bs.,THESE so called fake space people can't solve simple problems on earth ,let alone another fake planet…the earth is FLAT and the sun movement the flat earth,the only leg these people have to stand on is the heliocentric view of the universe,which is not true,other than that their just a bunch of people that think they know what their talking about

  • If fusion was to be complete successfully we would already be at this part as we would have energy beyond imagination. There needs to be a focus on fusion and a real push to accomplish it within the next 20 years.

  • Bullshit topic! Why the hell do we care about other useless planets since our earth is so perfect to live in? Unless…..

    Mars would be great for prisoners.

  • Spend it to rebuild what? We are innovating our space capabilities to ensure that there will be a future. Future for what? When this Earth's average global temperature hits 2 °C more. Why would we rebuild the Earth when the very dominant species on Earth holds their money particularly BILLIONS tight in their purses and hands? If you are looking for the guilty, you need only look in the mirror. If you are looking for hope in this world, then perhaps you need to look outside it. Rebuild the very foundations that cause its own destruction? This is an amalgamation of people's stupidity at its finest degree.

  • you want to increase the CO2 level of mars, try sending humans to mars because we are doing a pretty good job increasing it on earth.

  • Can we first make sure the Earth stays suitable for humans? If we can transform a whole planet like they're talking about, we should also be able to, ya know, curb climate change here?…

  • Tired of hearing about terraforming Mars from the people who are destroying Earth. We better fix our planet before going to others. They cant terraform anything without creating a magnetic field around Mars somehow, without it nothing can be terraformed . Dreamers. They better realize we have not more than 10-20 years before the big earthquakes and disasters start to really make life impossible on Earth. It's already happening.

  • Our species might just end in this planet. As advance as we think we are we just not advanced enough. Earth is too small for us not enough resources for us to do anything out of space

  • couldn't we also do this- build domes and form dome cities. We could find some way to protect us from radiation I have no idea how but incorporate them into the panels of the dome, build gardens to plant trees for oxygen or find a direct way to convert carbon dioxide (which is almost 94 percent of its atmosphere) to oxygen, for food we could get some fruits and vegetables from the garden and start some farms/factories for other food. And for water, I have no idea besides the poles where frozen water is.

  • Why the hell can we build rocket fuel on a comet out of water and we’re still digging up fossil fuels?? That’s sum Bulllllll

  • I have questions about B polarization in the universe
    There are three distances from which polarization signals come from
    Note the B polarization patterns of those galactic dust
    Dust of galaxies
    The first question is how far are these signals away?

    A polarized signal B comes from the cosmic grid
    The second question is to what extent does this signal come from the cosmic network?
    How far is this signal?

    There is a third sign
    A polarization signal is B of the oversized universe
    A sign of inflation
    How far is that third sign?
    We ask you to work with the development of sensitive devices to know the three distances that give us a polarization signal
    isB

    علوم

  • We can't even create a self sustaining colony on earth. Don't know what makes people think we can do it on Mars, let alone terraforming it. Dream on.

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