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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Who knew that clean energy could be so controversial?

Who knew that clean energy could be so controversial?

I have to admit, I was pretty fascinated by the idea of ​​terraforming Mars ever since I saw an IMAX movie discussing the subject during my space camp week, um, a few years back … or so. While I am more interested in permanent space colonies (e.g., Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ), I am also very interested in multi-planetary human habitation and transformation of the Martian environment, rather than constantly struggling to survive in this makes me open my idea.

This, and the fact that Elon Musk has a successful rocket company founded with long-term occupation of Mars as its primary objective, are convenient motivators. T-shirts are also a big plus. The theme is again on the headlines (with a brand new T-shirt that needs to be worn) and the players occupy their usual places on the board.

Musk has doubled down on his strategy for thermal formation, tweeting "Nuke Mars" And then, "T-shirt soon." "He explained a little more a few days later in response to radiation problems," Nuke Mars refers to a continuous stream of very low explosions of fusion over the atmosphere to create artificial suns. Like our sun, this would not cause Mars to become radioactive. "Many articles were then written or mentioned in response, all arguing that calculations for such a feat were either unlikely or nearly impossible as a viable solution for thermal formation. I will not pretend to have an opinion based on numbers because, to be honest, I have always wondered if it would matter if it was possible. Working through a clean energy policy is hard enough when we just talk about converting to battery electric vehicles, like what Tesla does to reduce fossil fuel use.

Then, when you include nuclear energy in the mix as a zero-emission option, the fighting really erupts, thanks to the horrific consequences of the nuclear power plant's past failures and the long-term effects that nuclear weapons have caused in wartime. It doesn't really matter if science says it's pretty safe with current technology – fear of the consequences outpaces any discussion driven by data. So when someone like Elon Musk says that he wants to use Mars technology that fights so much on Earth, it really feels like a lot of adoration for nothing because he will never get the green light, let alone gather resources, needed for

A different concept that seems a bit more acceptable to the scientific community includes reflecting satellites. Musk took to Twitter to say, "It might make sense to have thousands of satellites on its solar reflectors to warm Mars against artificial suns (tbd)." Because SpaceX is already producing satellites on a scale that will needed for a similar undertaking with Starlink, the feasibility factor has more points than the thousands of nuclear bombs needed for artificial sun near Mars. And, hey! Solar power (gain) for profit, right?

However, I am not sure if NASA will recognize this strategy, since in principle, they have already put out terraforming as an option in their view. A study published by the agency in July 2018 was pretty clear in its conclusions:

"Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be returned to the atmosphere to warm Mars, according to a new NASA sponsored release. study. Turning a hostile Martian environment into a place that astronauts could explore without sustaining life is not possible without technology far beyond today's capabilities. "- Bill Steigerwald / Nancy Jones for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center [19659009] In principle, neither nuclear nor solar could form Mars according to all, or at least this is not possible for a period of time that stretches the patience of most dreamers. Let's pretend that science is not so fatal in a minute. After all, we don't really know the subtle details of Musk's thought process and why he doesn't think NASA is right about that. Let's say that NASA and everyone else say that this is something entirely possible and would do exactly what Musk et al. I want it to happen. Our next problems are human haters and defenders of planetary defense.

There are a large number of people, or at least a large number of very vocal people, who do not think that humans even deserve to colonize Mars. We have enough problems to solve on Earth, they say to some effect. Even Kim Stanley Robinson, the author of the influential Martian terraced trilogy with the titles Red Green and Blue Mars says that Mars "is not a backup planet" and that it should we will fix our problems here before we transfer them to our red neighbor. I'm not saying that Stanley hates people, but rather he points out that even someone with a great vision of our species does not think that we currently have a lot of business playing as a friend on another planet. This type of opposition can be contagious once the debate gets serious.

If you follow the story of the crash of an Israeli spacecraft landing on the moon with some tardigrades on board, you may have seen a heated debate ensuing about the pollution of another planetary body. Honestly, I've heard about concerns about spacecraft contamination that could interfere with the accuracy of, say, regolith analysis (how to find out what we found that isn't a hitchhiking from Earth, etc.), but nothing in scale followed by tardigrades. Remind me a little of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (sorry for all Trekkie reports), where the terrorist team is very upset that they have intervened in the midst of a crystalline, inorganic life form , possessing intelligence. One crew member even shed tears on him, though one of his crew members was killed by beings invisible to their equipment.

The whole controversy surrounding tardigrades was reduced to a mantra for private space exploration. Musk's followers know how much trouble comes from challenging the arena of this arena, but SpaceX has finally made enough headway in its achievements to overcome some of the biggest damage. Not all of them, of course, but the victories so far give hope for future plans. The view that there is this rabid Planetary Protection Police (far beyond the basic scientific concerns) was somehow depressing. How many others will come out of the window after SpaceX is actually ready to land on Mars? And with private citizens who want to move there, no less?

The combination of all these things that I was discussing is some kind of gloomy picture to ever get out of the planet and / or create another home for people to live on. Still, I have faith. Like fellow writer Eric Ralph suggested to me, maybe everything will fall off once there are actual boots on the ground. The movie may already be in the works, after all: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Loving the Martian Bombs

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