Making Mars habitable

  title={Making Mars habitable},
  author={Christopher P. McKay and Owen Brian Toon and James F. Kasting},
Mars is believed to be lifeless, but it may be possible to transform it into a planet suitable for habitation by plants, and conceivably humans. The success of such an enterprise would depend on the abundance, distribution and form of materials on the planet that could provide carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. 
Life on Mars
  • C. McKay
  • Physics, Environmental Science
  • 1990
Abstract There is evidence that at one time Mars had liquid water habitats on its surface. Studies of microbial communities in cold and dry environments on the Earth provide a basis for discussion of
Ecopoiesis and Liquid Water Transportation on Mars
As the means of safe transportation between Earth and Mars is technically developed, one of the outcomes will likely be assisted colonization of Mars. In this chapter we shall exemplify potential
The physics, biology, and environmental ethics of making mars habitable.
Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.
Planetary Ecosynthesis on Mars and Geo-Engineering on Earth: Can We? Should We? Will We?
Environmental change on the Earth is imminent from anthropogenic causes and will also occur on a longer timescale from natural climate cycles – such as ice ages. These changes makes geo-engineering
Terraforming Mars: A Review of Concepts
The concept of modifying the environment of another planet, so that it can support terrestrial life, is known as terraforming. As a speculative thought experiment in planetary engineering, it has
Mars is an awful place to live
Abstract Some believe that the planet Mars holds promise as a new home for humankind and that it could become the focus of a large scale colonisation effort at some undefined point in the future. In
Terraforming earth and Mars
The uncontrolled character of current earth environment changes ascribable to anthropogenic pollutants is presently contrasted with the prospects for a controlled, long-term program of 'terraforming'
On Mars there was Water
Scientists overseeing Curiosity's mission on Mars confirmed that the shape and size of the pebbles on the dry tracks indicate that they were transported and eroded by the waters. According to them,
A primitive cyanobacterium as pioneer microorganism for terraforming Mars.


Exobiology and future Mars missions: the search for Mars' earliest biosphere.
  • C. McKay
  • Physics, Geology
    Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research
  • 1986
Planetary Engineering on Mars
A synergic approach to terraforming Mars
Previous proposals for terraforming Mars mostly involve an initial phase of planetary engineering to warm the planet by ∼60 K so that its mean temperature is above the freezing point of water.
Endolithic Microorganisms in the Antarctic Cold Desert
In the frigid desert of the Antarctic dry valleys there are no visible life forms on the surface of the soil or rocks. Yet in certain rock types a narrow subsurface zone has a favorable microclimate
Life span of the biosphere
There has been life on Earth for at least 3,500 Myr but the assumption that a comparable future lies ahead may not be justified. Main sequence stars appear to increase their burning rate as they age.
The early environment and its evolution on Mars: Implication for life
There is considerable evidence that the early climate of Mars was very different from the inhospitable conditions there today. This early climate was characterized by liquid water on the surface and
The resources of Mars for human settlement.
Preliminary engineering studies indicate that fairly autonomous processes can be designed to extract and stockpile Martian consumables, which allows missions that are more robust and economical than would otherwise be possible.
Release of Juvenile Water on Mars: Estimated Amounts and Timing Associated with Volcanism
The amount of water released on Mars in association with volcanism is estimated to equal a layer 46 meters deep over the entire planet, based on mapping the volcanic materials and by inferring the volatile content of the lavas.