The destruction of the polar caps is not turning Mars into Earth, scientists have found

© RIA Novosti / RIA to Novoshepelychi in fotomontajes astronauts before launch to MarsThe destruction of the polar caps is not turning Mars into Earth, scientists have found© RIA Novosti / RIA to Novoshepelychi in Photobacterium to daily updates RIA Science

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. The main dream of Elon musk is doomed to failure — Mars cannot be turned into an analogue of Earth, making the atmosphere more dense and warm, melt its polar ice caps. Write about scientists in an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

«New measurements with MAVEN, and also old data from NASA probes indicate that Mars just does not have enough carbon dioxide to create a greenhouse effect, which would have made it warm enough for a comfortable existence of life on earth. Terraforming Mars cannot be done with the help of modern technology,» writes Bruce Jakosky (Bruce Jakosky) from the University of Colorado at boulder (USA), head of mission MAVEN.

In September of 2016, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, told the world about his ambitious plans for the colonization of Mars, in which he plans to create super-heavy rocket, and an entire fleet of thousands of reusable interplanetary ships that will be delivered to the end of the century on Mars about a million people.

The main goal of this entire process, the definition of the Mask is to create an independent Earth and the Autonomous city-«millionth» on Mars, which will provide for himself the necessities of life and will be a full society, not inferior to the community of people on Earth.

One of the main purposes of the existence of this colony, according to the plan of the entrepreneur, will be the implementation of his plans for the terraforming of the red planet and its conversion into an analogue of Earth. This requires, as stated by Musk in the beginning of the current decade, to melt the polar caps of Mars using nuclear strikes that will make the atmosphere more dense and will give the colonists the initial water supplies.

As noted Jakosky, similar ideas are often cited in science fiction, but scientists have checked them extremely rare – the last such assessments were announced for more than 20 years ago, a famous planetary scientist Christopher McKay (Christopher McKay) in the journal Nature.

Over the next two decades, according to the head of mission MAVEN, astronomers have accumulated a lot of new data about stocks of water, carbon dioxide and oxygen in the depths of Mars, which McKay, Carl Sagan and other proponents of the idea of terraforming the fourth planet just do not know. For this reason, Iacoski and his colleague Christopher Edwards (Christopher Edwards) tried to assess whether we can realize the dream of the Mask and many science fiction writers right now.

Martian dreams

To do this, as noted by Edwards and Jakosky, it is necessary that every square centimeter of the surface of Mars had at least 2.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide in the «column» of air that hangs over this point. In this case, the planet will keep sufficient heat in order that it were almost the earth’s climate.

Using the same technique, and McKay, the authors calculated the mass and volume of carbon dioxide trapped in the polar caps of Mars, as well as hidden in the upper soil layers in some rocks.

As shown by these calculations, the complete disappearance of the polar caps of Mars would raise the atmospheric pressure only twice and increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air to the level of 30 grams per square centimeter, which is 83 times less than the critical level.

It’s enough to raise the temperature on Mars is about 10 degrees Kelvin, which is six times below the minimum mark of 60 degrees Kelvin.

On the other hand, the release of all the reserves of CO2 frozen soil will increase its share in the atmosphere of about 6-12 times. However, this, according to Edwards and Jakosky, will not be enough to run a full-fledged greenhouse effect.

An additional problem is that it will take to warm up the soil of Mars for a very long time, about 10 thousand years, which is unlikely to be feasible in the near or even very distant future. Therefore, it is now possible to say with certainty that the terraforming of Mars remains a distant dream, the scientists conclude.