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Dylan Fendrich

Mrs. Thomas

UWRT 1104

26 April 2017

Can We Create Life on Mars?

Life is created when you give something the right climate and living standards. Earth is

the right distance away from the Sun and this why humans are able to live there. Now to make a

planet that is further away from the Sun livable you have to change a different variable to

accommodate for the distance. Mars will need to gain an atmosphere and oxygen in order to

sustain human life. There has been lots of suggestions that would help in the creation of an

atmosphere. This paper will convince you that Mars is habitable, but will take time.

NASA has already planned for humans to go to Mars. The mission is already going on, it

started with the creation of the international space station. Most people dont know but the

international space station wasnt made to just show off the space program, it was made to allow

for astronauts to stay in space for long periods of time to research and to see the effects of space

on the human body. Aboard the space station they have a check up to get data on how much bone

loss and muscle atrophy occurs. This data has proven that a long term exposure in space can lead

to more fractures and movement problems when astronauts come back to an environment with a

lot more gravity. This stage is referred as Earth Reliant, which is self-explanatory. Astronauts

live in space and do research, but they are about 249 miles above Earths atmosphere which

means they are hours away from Earth. If there was something that happens on the space station
the astronauts would be able to get help relatively quickly and they would be able to restock on

supplies. It isnt until 2030s when the mission turns into Earth Independent. This is when the

astronauts would be on a space station orbiting around Mars and even have man set foot on

Mars. This isnt when life is created on Mars, but this would be the start of trying to create life.

Terraforming is making something Earth like. The first step in terraforming is to make

the place livable for humans. In the case for Mars it is creating the atmosphere. After we make an

atmosphere for Mars, we need to get oxygen to the planet. The way that is most proposed is

bringing microorganisms, probably genetically modified, which will be placed into the soil and

will start releasing oxygen. Also, the microorganisms will be able to fertilize the soil because

when they die they will start to decompose and they reproduce rapidly, so when its introduced it

wont have a predator and will be able to spread like wildfire. After we have an atmosphere to

trap the oxygen that is produced by the microorganisms we will need to add water and heat.

As of right now the highest temperature recorded on Mars is around 20 celsius, or 70

fahrenheit, and the lowest temperature is -125 celsius, or -195 fahrenheit. The way to create an

atmosphere is to somehow release an enormous amount of carbon dioxide and this is will trap the

Suns radiation which will keep Mars heated. The only way to get that much carbon dioxide is to

somehow melt the polar ice caps on Mars. There have been many suggestions on how to do that.

One example is having factories startup on Mars and have them produce greenhouse gases,

mainly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Also, these factories would act like plants and be converting

carbon dioxide into the oxygen. This is to create a large scale global warming effect on Mars to

melt the ice caps to release the carbon dioxide as well as the water. This factory system would

work, but making these factories would take a while because they would be to heavy to make on

earth and then transport them, so they would have to be made in space then transported over.
Another Example comes from what NASA is already developing; they are called solar

sails. These solar sails are mirrors that harness the Suns radiation to propel a spacecraft while in

space, but some scientist have suggested that we use these mirrors to reflect the Suns radiation

down onto Mars, thus warming the polar ice caps on Mars and releasing the trapped carbon

dioxide. The mirror would have a diameter of 256 km and would weigh approximately 200,000

tons. This means that in order to make this mirror we will need to make it in space, some

scientist have suggested just to use the materials that can be found on mars. Having the mirror be

made near Earth would be the easier option because we could just send the necessary pieces up

to space and have them build it here. The only problem with this is transporting it all the way to

Mars, which would just take a long time.

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, suggested that we use nukes to warm up Mars. He

announced this during an interview with Stephen Colbert and was ridiculed because of nuclear

weapons spread radiation and are used to destroy things not create things. His plan consists of

dropping nukes on the poles of Mars to warm them up really fast. This will cause the ice caps to

melt and release the carbon dioxide in them. He made it clear that this was the fast way to warm

up Mars, but not the only way to. He suggested that we use greenhouse gases, which is just like

the factory suggestion that was mentioned earlier. Michael Mann, director of the earth science

center at Penn State University, said that dropping nukes comes with problems. He explains that

instead of warming Mars the nukes would have the counter effect of cooling Mars and making it

worse. The nuke would explode and heat the ice caps but it would only be a short term fix. After

the nuke goes off it would destroy the land and create a lot of dust and particles. This will block

the sunlight and will create a ice age.


Of the three examples that were included I believe the factory one would be the best

option to be used in creating an atmosphere. The factory would be able to create an atmosphere

as well as make oxygen from the carbon dioxide that is produced. Also, the factory can have

solar panels attached to them and thus making them able to be used where there isnt any oxygen

in the first place. The option with

Some constraints that is making it so humans cant make it to Mars is low gravity and

space radiation. The thing that makes it so humans can survive and get stronger is gravity,

gravity on Earth allows for humans to keep bones strong and blood circulating through our body.

In space there is little to no gravity which means that the blood doesnt flow the correct way, the

blood will float upward toward the brain and never really reach the feet. This will make for bone

loss and muscle atrophy to take place.

Space radiation is the light that we cant see from the Sun, this includes x-rays, gamma ray, and

ultraviolet rays. On Earth we are for the most part protected from the radiation by our

atmosphere, but when you are in space the human body receives ten times as much radiation as a

human on Earth. This leads to increase chance of cancer and destroys the immune system.