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Astronomy - Astronomy, Observations and Techniques | Terraforming: The Creating of Habitable Worlds

Terraforming: The Creating of Habitable Worlds

Beech, Martin

2009, XI, 291 p.

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  • Explains how other parts of the solar system and even exoplanets can be made fit for human settlement and how our solar system offers an abundance of resources
  • Shows how geological and chemical activity in Earth's atmosphere allow Earth to support life and how other solar system objects might be fashioned similarly
  • Explores in detail the current thinking on how a terraformed, life-sustaining Mars might be possible, given that Mars was once a much wetter and denser planet

We all know that Earth’s population is growing at an alarming rate, and vital resources are becoming scarce. There simply isn’t enough space to grow the food the bulging human populations will need in the future. An energy crisis is also upon us. What happens when the oil runs out or becomes too costly to support us in the lifestyles to which we’ve become accustomed? What do we do?

There are no easy solutions. Planned population growth would certainly be a possible solution, but there are probably already too many mouths too feed, and few nations would be willing to pass or enforce laws limiting their country’s birth rate.

Some scientists have suggested the answer lies in humankind’s spacefaring nature and fantastic engineering capabilities. We know that there are other terrestrial bodies in our Solar System that share some features with Earth. Can they be made habitable, or at least be used to grow food or supply energy to Earth’s expanding populations? What would it take? Which of those bodies are our best hope? Can we create an atmosphere where there is none or change a poisonous atmosphere to one we can breathe?

These and other questions concerning modern-day realities and the future possibilities of terraforming—the science of making of new worlds (even extrasolar ones) habitable for humans—are tackled in this engrossing and revealing study by Martin Beech.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Martian bases - Planet - Solar System - currenttm - exoplanets - human outposts - moon bases - solar - solar system colonization - space colonies

Related subjects » Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - Atmospheric Sciences - Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - Geophysics & Geodesy - Popular Astronomy

Table of contents 

Prolog: The Big Guns of Kugluktuk.- Life in the Solar System, and Beyond.- The Limits of the World.- In the Right Place at the Right Time.- The Terraforming of Mars.- The Terraforming of Venus.- An Abundance of Habitats.

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