DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Terraforming Mars. Artwork 2 of 3. The first phase of terraforming Mars (making it Earth-like) would involve raising the temperature so that water (in the craters) remains liquid. The temperature would have to be raised from today's average temperature of around -60 degrees Celsius. This could be done through an atmospheric greenhouse effect by using orbiting space mirrors to melt carbon dioxide ice at the Martian poles. The water could be released from underground deposits of ice. The planet could then be oxygenated by plants. Such a project would take centuries to complete. The terraforming of Mars is shown in images R350/209-211.
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