Titan is actually the only other rocky body in our solar system able to maintain an atmosphere, which is because 95% of its orbit are within the magnetosphere of Saturn, effectively shielding it from thinning out. Mars, on the other hand, does not have such a protective neighbor, and we can't give him one either. That is why I accept that even while terraforming Mars is an immensely inspiring vision, Mars still is the wrong planet for it - at least as long as we cannot change its sheer composition. Before "filling up" the atmosphere, we would need to "beef up" the planet itself.NoDozRequiem":2r5du6uu said:2worlds wrote:
As far as Mars not having the mass it needs to hold an atmosphere--you might want to bring this up to a number of planetary scientists who think that terraforming mars is impossible. How embarrasing for them that they've overlooked this glaring hole. Of course, mass isn't everything. Just ask Saturn's moon, Titan, whose atmosphere is thicker than earth's. Of course, Mars had an atmosphere thick enough to sustain water on its surface for quite a while. What was it that caused Mars to lose its atmosphere? From what I read, the jury is still out on that. When it comes to retaining atmosphere, size doesn't always matter (or predominate).
I know most people around here or elsewhere are not very eager to hear this and it certainly does not help financing campaigns, but it seems too obvious if you put facts above visions (no matter how inspiring). If you just think of what is actually necessary for this, then you would have to admit that all we actually can do to reach that goal, will not bring us an inch closer towards it in the marathon of creating a second Earth. So even if mankind may someday accomplish it, then from their perspective all of our efforts will have been bold indeed, but utterly in vain as well. They will not have been the bright first steps, but just unreasonable, as our technology still lacks all ingredients necessary to take up a task of such magnitude.
And what makes matters worse, as we are still living in a time of material and technological constraints, these efforts would just have been efficient in a different way: in drying up resources we could use for another goal, one that is actually in our reach - the Moon.