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How Buzz Aldrin wants to make Mars habitable

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Buzz Aldrin is pushing for a trip to Mars

Astronaut rolls out the red carpet to the Red Planet

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, has pushed for humanity to expand its presence in the space, making Mars habitable for humans. But for a planet whose atmosphere is almost entirely made of carbon dioxide, how will people do something as simple as breathe, much less life?

Speaking with Fox News, Aldrin said that there may be opportunities to ideas put forward by tech luminaries such as Elon Musk (a friend of Aldrin’s) which would include detonation of nuclear weapons as a way to “terraform” the Red Planet, or transforming Mars so it can support human life.

“And he is not the only one who is the pioneer of ideas,” Aldrin said in an interview with Fox News. “He is a little more flowery with the things that he does, but there is also Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos, the last of whom I have great admiration for, and the slow steady way in which he was limiting himself to the moon industry who may be the same for thousands and millions of people.”

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The 88-year-old Aldrin, further, that much of humanity knows we need the space to survive, even if the costs for expansion in the space is at this time, pun intended, astronomical.

“There is this thing there called the Moon, and it fell our way,” the former astronaut and Command Pilot in the u.s. air force said. “And it is time to begin to exercise what we have learned in a way that we can do on the moon, and share the cost – very important. The US can’t pay for all of this, we share the costs and share the benefits so that we contribute directly to what we are able to do.”

He continued: “And it will be much larger than the two men for one day, months later, something like that. We are going to occupy the Moon, and we go to think about the occupiers, but I think we’re going to settle on Mars.”

Aldrin has previously told Fox News that he believes that the astronauts could land on Mars by 2040.

The Apollo 11 astronaut in the spotlight at the moment after the filing of a lawsuit against two of his children over the control of his estate and space artifacts.

Drop a bomb

In 2015, speak with “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, the aforementioned Musk said that the terraforming of Mars could be done by the dropping of thermonuclear bombs on the poles or the release of greenhouse gases to the warming of the planet. Colbert joked that Musk might be a super-villain.

Others come with a more conventional ideas, including NASA, which proposed the launch of a huge magnetic shield in space to protect the planet from solar wind in 2017 paper.

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“The magnetic field direction could also maintain an orientation that keeps it parallel with the incident solar wind, interplanetary field, thereby significantly reducing mass, momentum and energy flows in the magnetosphere and thus also the damping of the internal magnetospheric dynamics,” the paper reads. “This situation, then, eliminates many of the solar-wind-erosion processes that occur in the planet’s ionosphere and upper layers of the atmosphere, causing the Martian atmosphere to grow in pressure and temperature in the course of time.”

NASA has also proposed the creation of oxygen Mar atmosphere, with the help of an experiment, known as MOXIE, which would involve the conversion of the enormous amounts of carbon dioxide found in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

Life on Mars?

The atmosphere of Mars is 95.97 percent carbon, 1.89 percent nitrogen, 1.93% argon, 0.0557% carbon monoxide, and only 0.146 percent oxygen.

By comparison, the Earth’s atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78.09%), oxygen (20.95%), argon (0.93%), carbon dioxide (0.04 percent) and small amounts of other gases.

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It will be years, maybe even hundreds of years before Mars was made habitable for man. No matter how it’s done, Aldrin believes now is the time to take advantage of humanity’s importance and make it a reality.

“It’s going to be a piece of the analysis, a piece of a weighting of the option, about how important this is to excite the public and the treatment of the crews,” said Aldrin. “Of course there is a great economic advantage of going, but [also] to pay the costs of bringing people back.”

 

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

 

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