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Atmospheric engineering of MarsThe feasibility of creating a breathable atmosphere on Mars was studied. Assuming that indigenous life is absent, and that human habitation will prove economically justifiable, several methods of introducing oxygen were considered. On the basis of energy requirements, photosynthetic oxygen production appears to be reasonable, assuming that the amounts of water, carbon dioxide, and mineral nutrients available on the Martian surface would be adequate for the growth of photosynthetic microorganisms. However, optimum rates of O2 formation could occur only after a significant increase in average temperature and in atmospheric mass. The generation of a runaway greenhouse/advective effect was considered. However, neither the energy requirement nor the time constant for initiation could be calculated. There appear to be no insuperable obstacles to the conversion of the Martian atmosphere to one containing oxygen, but the conversion would require many thousands of years.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Macelroy, R. D.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Averner, M. M.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 8, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1976
Publication Information
Publication: Advan. in Eng. Sci., Vol. 3
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19770003363Analytic PrimaryAdvances in Engineering Science, Volume 3
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