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Terraforming Mars Erasmus Education Program - Banyuls 2010 Evolution of the Biosphere Mussa Alischahi Pascaline Francois Camille Gelot David Mizen David.

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Presentation on theme: "Terraforming Mars Erasmus Education Program - Banyuls 2010 Evolution of the Biosphere Mussa Alischahi Pascaline Francois Camille Gelot David Mizen David."— Presentation transcript:

1 Terraforming Mars Erasmus Education Program - Banyuls 2010 Evolution of the Biosphere Mussa Alischahi Pascaline Francois Camille Gelot David Mizen David Mizen Ana Rosa Sáez

2 Terraforming Making a planet habitable for terrestrial organisms Modifying its : o -Atmosphere -Temperature -Surface topography u -Ecology

3 Why Terraforming ? Overpopulation: approx. 6 billion people in 2010 approx. 6 billion people in billion by billion by billion by billion by 2300

4 We need recources : WaterFoodSpace Why Terraforming ?

5 Earth won`t last forever : Sun enters Red Giant Phase in 5 billion yearsSun enters Red Giant Phase in 5 billion years Why Terraforming ?

6 Which celestial body? Characteristics required 1/ Atmosphere Some planets and moons have an atmosphere (such as Europa and ANOTHER...). However only four have sufficient gravity to have a significant atmosphere VenusEarthMarsTitan

7 Liquid water stability is controlled by temperature and atmospheric pressure. Liquid water stability is controlled by temperature and atmospheric pressure. Temperature depends on distance to the Sun and the Greenhouse Effect Temperature depends on distance to the Sun and the Greenhouse Effect Which celestial body? Characteristics required 2/ temperature and atmospheric pressure Distance from our Sun Greenhouse Gases TemperatureAtmospheric Pressure Venus0.72UA96.5% CO 2 460°C9.3 MPa Mars1.5UA95.32% CO % H 2 O -53°C6 hPa (av) Titan9.5UA1.4% CH °C147 kPa

8 Life on Earth depends on other phenomenon such as: Life on Earth depends on other phenomenon such as: - astrophysical ( magnetic field, obliquity stability,...)‏ - astrophysical ( magnetic field, obliquity stability,...)‏ - geological (plate tectonics, volcanism,...)‏ - geological (plate tectonics, volcanism,...)‏ - geochemical factor (greenhouse effect, ozone layer,...)‏ - geochemical factor (greenhouse effect, ozone layer,...)‏ Which celestial body? Characteristic required 3

9 Mars enviroment 1 Mars has a remnant magnetic field which protects a part of the planet

10 Mars environment 2 Atmosphere: - 6 hPa (150 times less important than Earth)‏ - 6 hPa (150 times less important than Earth)‏ - composition: - composition: 95,32% C 95,32% C O 2 ~ 2% N2 and Ar ~ 2% N2 and Ar 0,13% 0,13% O 2 0,07% H O 0,07% H 2 O 0,3 ppm O3 0,3 ppm O3 - dust storm : increase of temperature, all planet can be cover - dust storm : increase of temperature, all planet can be cover

11 Mars environment 3 Surface: - ice water: permafrost - ice water: permafrost - temperature: - temperature: max 22°C ; min -143°C; max 22°C ; min -143°C; average - 53 °C average - 53 °C - no plate tectonics  no active volcanism  Regolithe  silicate I have to take another sweater

12 Current Mars conditions Water Creation of a dense atmosphere of CO 2 First Step : Ecopoeisis Model for Terraforming Mars

13 Primary vegetation Water Cycle instauration Second Step : vegetation implantation

14 Vegetation development / clouds apparition Terraforming done Last Step : Biosphere creation

15 Current hypothesis : Asteroid Bombardment Greenhouse Gases (CFC, CH 4, CO 2) Asteroid Bombardment Greenhouse Gases (CFC, CH 4, CO 2) Solar Mirrors First Step

16 It’s not so easy «Microbial colonization of Ca-sulfate crusts in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert: implications for the search for life on Mars.» Geobiology Aug 18 Wierzchos J, Cámara B, DE Los Ríos A, Davila AF, Sánchez Almazo IM, Artieda O, Wierzchos K, Gómez- Silva B, McKay C, Ascaso C. Departamento de Ecologia de Sistemas, Instituto de Recursos Naturales, CCMA, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.

17 Why lichens? Lichens are fungi with an obligate symbiotic mode of nutrition with a photosynthetic partner. They have an unique morphology, unlike either partner growing alone. Lichens are fungi with an obligate symbiotic mode of nutrition with a photosynthetic partner. They have an unique morphology, unlike either partner growing alone. There are about 20,000 species known worldwide. There are about 20,000 species known worldwide. (www.fs.fed.us)

18 Why lichens? (www.theseashore.org.uk) Antarctic lichens are extremely tolerant of desiccation and cold. They could survive to the UV radiation on Mars using different mechanisms, for example melanins. Melanins have three main functions: Screen from excess of radiation Absorb heat to raise an optimal temperature. Bioabsorption of metals and protection of the reproductive tissues from their toxic effects.

19 Lichens can help to free minerals to create a true soil. In this manner, they open the way for the establishment of other plants. (Dorn, 2007)

20 Previous experiments shown that lichens can survive under Mars conditions (de Vera et al. 2010)

21 And after lichens...what? 2nd step: Bryophytes introduction 2nd step: Bryophytes introduction 3rd step: Flowering plants arrival and the creation of temperate ecosystems: forests, grasslands and deserts. 3rd step: Flowering plants arrival and the creation of temperate ecosystems: forests, grasslands and deserts. Tropical forests aren’t appropiate for Mars, due to their highly complex ecosystem. Tropical forests aren’t appropiate for Mars, due to their highly complex ecosystem. (Graham, 2004)

22 Experiment - What factors should be simulated? - Gas-pressure - Gas-pressure - Gas-composition - Gas-composition - Atmospheric leakage - Atmospheric leakage - Temperature - Temperature - Humidity - Humidity - Radiation - Radiation - Gravity - Gravity - Absolutely sterile soil - Absolutely sterile soil - Soil needs same chemical composition(s) as on mars - Soil needs same chemical composition(s) as on mars

23 Experimental Setup (de Vera et al. 2010)

24 Experiment - Possible Combinations Possible Combinations 1 - Present Mars- Conditions 2....n - Transitory Conditions n+1 - Target Conditions Species A Species B...n

25 Experiment - Test chambers

26 Experiment - Factors to be measured - Growth rate - Growth rate - Biomass production - Biomass production - Soil-forming - Changes in Gas-composition & pressure

27 Further Experimentation - computer-simulations - experiments on space-stations

28 Many others problems can’t be solved. Mars is a «dead» planet. Obliquity problem. Gravity

29 Terraforming a Planet: Problems and Issues While the theory and experimental proofs may show that terra-forming a world is possible, there are often physical conditions that are difficult to predict and hard to synthesise in a lab. Outlined are just a few of the physical problems we could encounter. There are also ethical concerns to consider. These too are outlined and will be the centre of public debate.

30 Alteration and infection The primary concerns are how to ensure that the lichens does not mutate or lose its ability to synthesise O 2. mutation is a natural occurrence and will occur once on the planet. It is unlikely to mutate the whole photosynthesis cycle but it could become less efficient and so affect the terraforming process. The primary concerns are how to ensure that the lichens does not mutate or lose its ability to synthesise O 2. mutation is a natural occurrence and will occur once on the planet. It is unlikely to mutate the whole photosynthesis cycle but it could become less efficient and so affect the terraforming process. Another concern is if the lichen are contaminant free. The presence of a virus in a single lichen could potentially destroy the whole crop. It would be vital to breed the entire crop from a single source that was guaranteed to be disease free. Another concern is if the lichen are contaminant free. The presence of a virus in a single lichen could potentially destroy the whole crop. It would be vital to breed the entire crop from a single source that was guaranteed to be disease free. As lichen is a combination of bacteria and algae there is potential for contamination by unscreened un-adapted systems which could once again cause various issues at a later date. As lichen is a combination of bacteria and algae there is potential for contamination by unscreened un-adapted systems which could once again cause various issues at a later date.

31 Attacks on the cells Once an atmosphere begins to be created winds will start to blow and eventually the friction of these winds will create a lighting storm. This lighting could trigger large scale fires among the lichen and maybe even damage the advances made in atmosphere composition. Once an atmosphere begins to be created winds will start to blow and eventually the friction of these winds will create a lighting storm. This lighting could trigger large scale fires among the lichen and maybe even damage the advances made in atmosphere composition. A small concern is what would happen if this change is atmosphere reactivated a long dormant micro-organism already present on mars. While very unlikely its could contaminate the ecosystem is all kinds of ways we cant predict. A small concern is what would happen if this change is atmosphere reactivated a long dormant micro-organism already present on mars. While very unlikely its could contaminate the ecosystem is all kinds of ways we cant predict.

32 Micro-Organism Interaction with Humans Obviously the micro-organisms we send to terraform will be genetically engineered to be more resilient and hardy. It is important to research how these cells will interact with normal unaltered cells as we are intending to create a new ecosystem and all contingencies should be prepared for. As a last resort a “kill switch” programmed into the cells gene code would be very useful in ensuring the safety of future pioneers. Obviously the micro-organisms we send to terraform will be genetically engineered to be more resilient and hardy. It is important to research how these cells will interact with normal unaltered cells as we are intending to create a new ecosystem and all contingencies should be prepared for. As a last resort a “kill switch” programmed into the cells gene code would be very useful in ensuring the safety of future pioneers.

33 The Ethical Issues of Terraformation Do we have the right to Terraform another planet? Do we have the right to Terraform another planet?

34 Ethical issues – land control Acquiring land Acquiring land Control and Government Control and Government Where does the government sit? Where does the government sit?

35 Ethical Issues -- Ecosystem Who controls the terraformation of Mars? Who controls the terraformation of Mars? What sort of Ecosystem do we build? What sort of Ecosystem do we build?

36 Conclusions on Terraforming With current technologies, it’s not possible on Mars With current technologies, it’s not possible on Mars Small Biospheres may be a better option in general. Small Biospheres may be a better option in general. Further study of our Ecosystem is needed. Further study of our Ecosystem is needed. Further research into planetary conditions required. Further research into planetary conditions required.

37 Water on Mars Thank you for your attention (Merci, Gracias, Danke)


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