Re: Fish in Space

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 12:58:57 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> "Ross A. Finlayson" <> writes:
> > Unlike Venus, Mars doesn't have a toxic atmosphere and regular temperatures
> > above 100 centigrade. Perhaps Venus is a better terraforming target, except
> > for the temperature, because it has an existing thick atmosphere of chemicals
> > to convert into an approximation of Earth atmosphere.
> The problem is getting rid of all the stored heat as well as the fact
> that the rotation is very slow. Mars is likely easier to terraform, or
> at least set upp ecopoiesis - why create *another* Earth when you
> could try for something new instead?

The heat is partially a result of the greenhouse effect of the Venusian atmosphere,
not to mention the fact that it's closer to the furnace of the Sun. Changing the
content of the atmospher ecould be started by tailored microbes that can live in
the Venusian environment and feed on its complete atmosphere or other microbes that

When you say "new" that brings to mind various possibilities. For example, unless
Mars has bacteria in some form or another, or some other complex system that is at
least semi-organic, then it is not a bad idea to use Earth life to seed Mar life.
If Mars already had a developing ecosystem, then there would be less reason to
introduce something else.

Say that one day Mars has been given a thin atmosphere, maybe it would be like
living a couple miles above the Earth's surface. If the atmosphere trapped enough
heat then there could be liquid water, at which point a major criterion of life is

So, Mars might not have much of an atmosphere, so some kind of mechanism would have
to grind the rocks into air. There are probably at lesat some small deposits of
various minerals around Mars. We were speaking about globes of Mars, how much and
what can we say about what mineral resources might exist on Mars?

Does Mars have a liquid metal core?

> > On Mars, on the other
> > hand, it would be easier to have companion human settlements to large scale
> > environmental engineering.
> True. The problem is that bootstrapping the atmosphere and ecosystem
> is a rather tricky coupled problem - ideally you want both to help
> each other get more dense, but getting that initial push out from the
> current cold/dry metastable state into the hypothetically possible
> "warm/wet" (still rather cold and dry by Earth standards). Solar
> mirrors might help with that initial push, but I guess a widespread
> nano-infrastructure on the surface is needed to really succeed in a
> short (decades-centuries) time span.
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
> GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote about Mars.

Here's something to consider about Mars, rendez-vous something with a big water
comet and push it thus that it orbit in ten or fifteen or more years coincides with
Mars, that it is not a "soft landing" of off-planet resources on Mars, but rather a
"controlled landing".

Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

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