Potential Terraforming Breakthrough to Be Presented at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is delighted to announce that a new breakthrough concept that could open the way to terraforming the Red Planet will be presented at the 27th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held at the University of Washington in Seattle, August 8-11.

Developed by a team led by University of Chicago Prof. Edwin Kite and in collaboration with Prof. Hooman Mohseni‘s research group at Northwestern University and Prof. Ramses Ramirez at the University of Central Florida, the concept involves generating iron or aluminum nanorods and suspending them in Mars’ atmosphere to create a powerful greenhouse effect, thereby warming the Red Planet.

As the planet warms, large amounts of carbon dioxide currently in the Martian ice caps and adsorbed into Martian soil will outgas, thickening the atmosphere, and warming the planet still more. Then as the planet continues to warm, some of Mars’ vast ice deposits will begin to melt, causing the streams of Mars to flow again and its lakes to fill, opening the way for life.

The concept is a breakthrough because previous terraforming plans required the production of fluorocarbon gases on Mars to begin the warming process, and the availability of the required quantities of fluorine on the Red Planet is not established. In contrast, iron or aluminum are so omnipresent everywhere on Mars that it gives the planet its color, and, indirectly, its name.

The team’s concept will be presented in a plenary address at the Seattle convention by Prof. Kite himself. The exact time and date will be announced when the conference schedule is released in mid-July. For more details about the four-day event, please visit: marssociety.org. Please note that early bird discounted ticket sales end on June 30th.

Also if you are interested in presenting a paper to this important conference dealing with any aspect of the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, you can do so by submitting an abstract of no more than 300 words via our website’s online form. The deadline for abstract submission is also June 30th.