DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Terraforming Mars. Artwork 3 of 3. The final phase of terraforming Mars (making it Earth-like) would involve using plants to oxygenate the atmosphere. The vegetation (green) can survive on a Mars that has been warmed to liquid water temperatures. The water (in the craters) and the carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere are broken down to form the oxygen gas needed. The plants could also liberate nitrogen from the rock, forming a thick atmosphere that would avoid the loss of water that is thought to have happened in the past. Such a project would take centuries to complete. The terraforming of Mars is shown in images R350/209-211.
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