An essay on terraforming

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by Andreas Steffen

For decades, the possibility of landing humans on Mars, and rendering it habitable for us has fascinated minds everywhere, from Sci-Fi writers to NASA specialists. Great scientific attention has been paid to this opportunity, for the gain would incredible: A world with a similar land mass as Earth, available for exploitation and colonization. Indeed an enticing prospect, and one whose net value has been estimated by some at $200,000,000,000,000 US, or 200 trillion dollars (Robinson: Green Mars). But the obstacles are just as formidable as the gains. This paper will attempt to detail the obstacles facing the terraforming of this new world, irrespective of the problem of interplanetary transport. Which is not to say that these are not equally hampering.

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