Monday 13 March 2023

Terraforming Mars - Edited by Martin Beech, Joseph Seckbach, and Richard Gordon

Terraforming Mars 
Edited by Martin Beech
Joseph Seckbach
and Richard Gordon
ISBN 9781119761969
eISBN 9781119761860

First this is one of the most memorable Science Text I have read in years. It ranks up there with reading In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality by John Gribbin and more recent favourites How To Think Like A Neandertal by Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge and Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Hooks, Helps and Hurts Us by Murray Carpenter. But this one was by far the most technical piece I have read. Second I am grateful for digital lending libraries, this volume would have been way out of my price point for a leisure read. And third I stumbled across this while writing a review for the novelization of the Terraforming Mars game, a novel; In the Shadow of Deimos by Jane Killick Terraforming Mars Book 1. 

This volume was a stretch for me. Both in content and theory. But I took my time and worked my way through it. Some of the scientific notations are well beyond my grasp, but the theories for the most part were easily accessible. The volume is edited by Martin Beech, Joseph Seckbach and Richard Gordon. The chapters sections and subsections of the book are:


Part 1: Introduction 
1 Terraforming and Colonizing Mars 
Giancarlo Genta
1.1 Introduction 
1.2 Earth: A Terraformed Planet 
1.3 Planetary Environments 
1.4 Terraforming Mars 
1.5 The Role of Solar Wind 
1.6 Ethical Aspects 
1.7 Venus, Moon, Titan… 

Part 2: Engineering Mars 
2 Terraforming Worlds: Humans Playing Games of Gods 
Nilo Serpa and Richard Cathcart
Early Mars 
Oceans Here and There 
The Mars We are Creating Here 
Mars: An Arena of Delusions? 

3 Mars, A Stepping-Stone World, Macro-Engineered 
Richard B. Cathcart
3.1 Introduction 
3.2 Mars-Crust as Kinetic Architecture 
3.3 A Crust-Infrastructure Mixture 
3.4 Infrastructure and Life-Styles 
3.5 Atmosphere Enhancements for Mars 
3.6 Between Then and Now 

4 Efficient Martian Settlement with the Mars Terraformer Transfer (MATT)
and the Omaha Trail 
Gary Stewart
4.1 Introduction 
4.2 Construction Efficiencies of MATT’s Small-Scale Terraformation 
4.2.1 Impact Terraformation for Settlement 
4.2.2 Impactor Redirection with DE-STARLITE 
4.2.3 Subaqueous Hab Network at Omaha Crater 
4.3 Provisioning Efficiencies of the Omaha Trail 
4.3.1 Deimos Dock 
4.3.2 Mars Lift 
4.3.3 Arestation 
4.3.4 Deimos Rail Launcher (DRL) 
4.4 Cosmic Ray Protection: From Omaha Trail to Omaha Shield 
4.5 Conclusion 

5 Mars Colonization: Beyond Getting There 
Igor Levchenko, Shuyan Xu, Stéphane Mazouffre, Michael Keidar
and Kateryna Bazaka
5.1 Mars Colonization – Do We Need it? 
5.2 Legal Considerations 
5.2.1 Do Earth Laws Apply To Mars Colonists? 
5.2.2 Sovereignty 
5.2.3 Human Rights 
5.2.4 Abortion 
5.3 Ethical Considerations 
5.3.1 General 
5.3.2 Human Reproduction – Ethical Considerations 
5.3.3 Social Isolation and No Privacy – Rolled into One 
5.3.4 Advocacy for Mars – is it Ethical at All to Colonize it? 
5.4 Consideration of Resources 
5.5 Quo Vadis, the Only Civilization We Know? 
5.6 Afterword. Where are We Three Years Later? 
5.6.1 Current Programs and Their Status – in Brief 
5.6.2 Any News About Mars? 
5.6.3 Tasks and Challenges 

Part 3: Ethical Exploration 
6 The Ethics of Terraforming: A Critical Survey of Six Arguments 
Ian Stoner
6.1 Introduction 
6.2 Audience and Method 
6.3 Preservationist Arguments 
6.3.1 We Should Preserve Mars’s Value as a Unique Object
of Scientific Interest 
6.3.2 We Should Preserve the Integrity of the Martian Wilderness 
6.3.3 We Should Avoid Expressing Colonialist Vices 
6.4 Interventionist Arguments 
6.4.1 We Should Fulfill our Inborn Nature as Pioneers 
6.4.2 We Should Increase Our Species’ Chance of Long-Term Survival 
6.4.3 We Should Rehabilitate Mars for Martians 
6.5 Conclusion 

7 Homo Reductio Eco-Nihilism and Human Colonization of Other Worlds 
Kelly Smith
7.1 Introduction 
7.2 Implicit Assumptions 
7.3 Conclusion 

8 Ethical, Political and Legal Challenges Relating to Colonizing
and Terraforming Mars 
Konrad Szocik
8.1 Introduction 
8.2 Ethical Issues in Colonizing and Terraforming Mars 
8.3 Ethics of Human Enhancement for Space 
8.4 Environmental Ethics in Space 
8.5 Political Issues in Colonizing and Terraforming Mars 
8.6 Legal Issues in Colonizing and Terraforming Mars 
8.7 Sexual and Reproductive Laws in a Mars Colony 
8.8 Migration Law in Space 
8.9 Why Terraforming Mars May Be Necessary from Ethical, Political
and Legal Perspectives 
8.10 Conclusions 

Part 4: Indigenous Life on Mars 
9 Life on Mars: Past, Present, and Future 
Martin Beech and Mark Comte
9.1 A Very Brief Historical Introduction 
9.2 Indigenous Life: Past and Present 
9.2.1 Beginnings 
9.2.2 The Viking Experiments 
9.2.3 Martian Meteorites 
9.2.4 In Plain Sight 
9.3 Seeded Life: The Future 
9.4 Per Aspera ad Astra 

10 Terraforming on Early Mars? 
M. Polgári, I. Gyollai and Sz. Bérczi
10.1 Introduction 
10.1.1 Aspects of Biogenicity 
10.1.2 Methodology 
10.1.3 Multihierarchical System Analyses 
10.2 Outline of Section 10.2 
10.2.1 Review of Research on Martian Life 
10.2.2 Biosignatures in Martian Meteorites Based on Mineralogical
and Textural Investigation 
10.2.3 Biosignatures in Chondritic Meteorites Interpretations Clay Formation Interpretation No. 1 Interpretation No. 2 (Preferred) 
10.2.4 Terrestrial Analogues of Biosignatures 
10.2.5 Implications to Terraforming of Ancient Life on Mars on the Basis
of Terrestrial and Meteoritic Analogues 
10.3 Novel Interpretation of the Formation Process Based on Mineral
10.3.1 Martian Meteorites 
10.3.2 Interpretation of Mineral Assemblages on Mars 
10.3.3 Novel Interpretation of Mineral Dataset of Exploration
of Curiosity in Gale Crater 
10.4 Conclusion 

Part 5: Living on Mars 
11 Omaha Field – A Magnetostatic Cosmic Radiation Shield for a Crewed
Mars Facility 
Gary Stewart
11.1 Introduction 
11.2 Methods 
11.2.1 Software 
11.2.2 Testing 
11.3 Design 
11.3.1 Crater 
11.3.2 Current 
11.3.3 Circuits 
11.4 Results 288
11.4.1 Shielding Against 500 MeV Protons 
11.4.2 Shielding Against 1 GeV Protons 
11.4.3 Shielding Effectiveness in the Mars Environment 
11.5 Discussion 
11.5.1 Electrostatics 
11.5.2 Refrigeration 
11.5.3 Self-Shielding Solenoids 
11.5.4 Alternate Self-Shielding and Source-Shielding 
11.5.5 Safety in Transit Across Crater Rim 
11.5.6 Safety in Spacecraft Launch and Landing 

12 Mars Future Settlements: Active Radiation Shielding and Design
Criteria About Habitats and Infrastructures 
Marco Peroni
12.1 Introduction 
12.2 The Problem of Cosmic Radiations 
12.3 The Protection System with Artificial Magnetic Fields 
12.4 Details of Our Proposal 
12.5 Further Developments 
12.6 Modular Settlement on Mars 

13 Crop Growth and Viability of Seeds on Mars and Moon Soil Simulants 
G.W.W. Wamelink, J.Y. Frissel, W.H.J. Krijnen and M.R. Verwoert
13.1 Introduction 
13.2 Materials and Methods 
13.2.1 Regoliths 
13.2.2 Species Selection 
13.2.3 Organic Matter and Bacteria 
13.2.4 Experimental Design 
13.2.5 Harvest and Measurements 
13.3 Results 
13.3.1 Fruit Setting and Biomass 
13.3.2 Seed Weight and Germination 
13.4 Discussion 
13.5 Outlook Issues for the Future 

14 The First Settlement of Mars 
Chris Hajduk
14.1 Introduction 
14.2 Colony Location 
14.3 Colony Timeline 
14.3.1 Setup Phase 
14.3.2 Investment Phase 
14.3.3 Self-Sufficiency 
14.4 Colony Design 
14.5 The Basics – Power, Air, Water, Food 
14.5.1 Food 
14.5.2 Water 
14.5.3 Air 
14.5.4 Power 
14.6 The Material World 
14.6.1 Metals 
14.6.2 Plastics 
14.6.3 Ceramics and Composites 
14.6.4 Mining 
14.7 Exports, Economics, Investment and Cash Flow 
14.7.1 Interplanetary Real Estate 
14.7.2 Intellectual Property Export 
14.7.3 Research Tourism 
14.7.4 Investment and Cash Flow 
14.8 Politics – A Socialist’s World 
14.9 Conclusion and Further Thoughts 

Part 6: In Situ Resources 
15 Vulcanism on Mars 
Ian M. Coulson
15.1 Introduction 
15.2 Martian Geology 
15.2.1 Mars: Creation and Thermal Evolution 
15.2.2 The Martian Crust 
15.3 Vulcanism 
15.3.1 Types of Volcanoes Earth Mars 
15.3.2 Recognition of Other Styles of Vulcanism 
15.3.3 Martian Meteorites 
15.3.4 Is Mars Still Volcanically Active? 

16 Potential Impact-Related Mineral Resources on Mars 
Jake R. Crandall, Justin Filiberto and Sally L. Potter-McIntyre
Terrestrial Ore Deposit Types Associated with Impact Craters 
Progenetic Deposits 
Syngenetic Deposits 
Epigenetic Deposits 
Martian Target Craters 
Ritchey Crater 
Gale Crater 
Gusev Crater 

17 Red Gold – Practical Methods for Precious-Metal Survey, Open-Pit
Mining, and Open-Air Refining on Mars 
Gary Stewart
17.1 Introduction 
17.2 Martian Precious-Metal Ore from Asteroids 
17.3 Martian Precious-Metal Survey and Physical Assay 
17.4 “Mars Base Alpha” – A Red Gold Mining Camp 
17.5 Semi-Autonomous Open-Pit Mining 
17.6 Comminution and Separation of Meteorite Ore 
17.7 Extracting Metals with Induction/Microwave Smelter 
17.8 Refining with Hydrometallurgical Recovery and the Miller Process 
17.9 Separating Precious Metals with Saltwater Electrolysis 
17.10 Kovar Foundry 
17.11 Maximizing ISRU, Minimizing Mass and Complexity 
17.12 Scale-Up and Scale-Out 
17.13 Conclusion, with Observations and Recommendations 

Part 7: Terraforming Mars 
18 Terraforming Mars: A Cabinet of Curiosities 
Martin Beech
18.1 Introduction and Overview 
18.2 Planet Mars: A Brief Observational History and Overview 
18.3 The Beginnings of Change 
18.4 The Foundations 
18.5 First Blush 
18.6 Digging In 
18.7 (re)Building the Martian Atmosphere 
18.8 Magnetic Shielding 
18.9 Heating the Ground 
18.10 A Question of Time 
18.11 Conclusions 

19 Terraforming Mars Rapidly Using Today’s Level of Technology 
Mark Culaj
19.1 Introduction 
19.2 Solar Wind 
19.2.1 Solar Wind Abundances 
19.2.2 Magnetic Lens 
19.3 Conclusions 

20 System Engineering Analysis of Terraforming Mars with an Emphasis
on Resource Importation Technology 
Brandon Wong
20.1 Summary 
20.2 Introduction 
20.3 Key Problem 
20.4 Key Stakeholders 
20.5 Goals 
20.6 Macro Level Alternatives 
20.6.1 Terraforming 
20.6.2 Paraterraforming 
20.6.3 Bioforming 
20.7 Macro-Level Trade Study 
20.8 Macro-Level Conclusions 
20.8.1 Concept of Operations 
20.8.2 High-Level Requirements 
20.8.3 Requirements Decomposition 
20.8.4 Macro High-Level Design 
20.9 Terraforming Efforts System - Detailed Requirements 
20.10 Space Transportation System 
20.11 Importing Resources Subsystem 
20.11.1 Resources Needed 
20.11.2 Resource Locations 
20.11.3 Subsystem Needs Subsystem Goals for Importing Resources Subsystem Detailed Requirements for Importing Resources Subsystem Alternatives for the Importing Resources Subsystem Importing Resources Trade Study Findings Importing Resources Subsystem Design 
20.12 Risks 
20.12.1 Macro-Level Risks 
20.12.2 Importing Resources Subsystem Risks 
20.13 Lean Strategies 
20.14 Ethical Considerations 
20.15 Overall Conclusions 
20.15.1 Proposed Implementation Plan 
20.16 Acknowledgements 
20.17 Appendix 
20.17.1 Requirements Flowdown to System Implementation 

21 The Potential of Pioneer Lichens in Terraforming Mars 
Richard A. Armstrong
21.1 Introduction 
21.2 Potential Role of Lichens in Terraformation 
21.3 Exploiting Indigenous Lichens
21.4 Exploiting Lichen Symbionts on Mars 
21.5 Inoculating Lichen Symbionts from Earth Cultures 
21.6 Transplanting Terrestrial Lichens to Mars 
21.7 Conclusions 

The table of contents is several pages and the index at the end spans 12 pages of double columns. I want to say I could not put the book down. But I had to put it down. Many of the pieces required thought and reflection before moving on. Not just looking at the technical implications, and various theories of the how, but looking at the questions of ‘How?’ and even “If?” we much more impactful. During one of my breaks from reading this, as I often only read a section or sub section a day I read a novel written by a different scientist. Under An Orange Sky by Manuel Alfonseca Solar System Book 1 when I picked it up, I was unaware it was the first in a trilogy, but it raises the question of should we Terraform Mars even if it would mean the elimination of native life, and in this case life with deep intelligence, but simple appearing lifeform. 

I have mentioned this book to numerous people. It is one of those volumes I will be talking about for years. Much like How To Think Like A Neandertal mentioned at the beginning, this volume has stayed with me days and night over the over 2 months it has took me to read, and will stay with me for a long time to come. If you can lay your hands on it I can easily recommend it, no matter how much a stretch it is. It is an excellent read!

Related Fiction:
Jane Killick's Terraforming Mars Series:

Manuel Alfonseca's Solar System Series:
Descent into the Hell of Venus
Operation Quatuor

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