re: teraforming mars

Michael Wiik (
Fri, 20 Aug 1999 10:18:32 -0400

Gregory Hather writes...

> Why mars won't be teraformed for a long time...

I had an idea years ago on how we could save money by terraforming two planets at once. Venus has too much atmosphere, Mars too little, can we transfer some?

I envisioned mass drivers on Mars launching reusable robot probes towards Venus. When one gets there, it sticks a tube into the atmosphere, and draws some of it up into itself, inflating a large balloon. Somehow breaking away from Venus's orbit, the probe with inflated balloon acts like a solar sail pushing the ship on a leisurely journey back towards Mars. Algae is introduced into the balloon to convert at least some carbon dioxide into oxygen along the way. Once in Mars orbit, the probe is slowed and the whole thing crashes down, with the balloon burning up and the probe parachuting down to be re-loaded with a fresh balloon and put back into the mass driver for another trip.

Would this work?



Michael Wiik
Messagenet Communications Research
Washington DC Area Internet and WWW Consultants