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# Mars + Venus + other stuff = Gaia?

Combining planets/planetoids to produce a body capable of maintaining an Earth-like atmosphere
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Assuming that *somehow* you were able to produce enough energy to do so, combining the masses of Venus and Mars would probably be enough to begin terraforming a new Earth. Pushing Venus outwards by speeding up its solar orbit would probably be the best option, though you would have to be careful not to run it smack into Earth. The resulting composite planet, let's call it Gaia, would not be as dense as the iron-based Earth, so would probably have a similar gravity as Earth while being about as massive. (The reason producing oxygen on Mars directly may not work is that oxygen may not be dense enough to stay as an atmosphere - this would fix that.) Using the greenhouse gases of Venus to warm up Gaia would be beneficial. Once you had some kind of warmish substantial atmosphere, various Earth bacteria could be used to seed Gaia to convert some of the carbon dioxide to oxygen. The rest of the CO2 could be left to keep the planet warm enough to be settled. The next obvious problem would be water, or lack thereof. Jupiter has a few icy moons it might be willing to part with, otherwise hydrogen could be mined directly from Jupiter proper.

There you go: new Earth - Gaia

 — Agamemnon, Apr 03 2006

Venus 2.0 Venus_202_2e0
[bungston, Apr 03 2006]

The Achilles heel of your idea is that it would be much cheaper to terraform those planets without moving them around. If you read the Kim Robinson books, for instance, there are a number of plausible technologies that don't require the godlike expenditure of energy you are proposing
 — theircompetitor, Apr 03 2006

You can just reverse it, can't you? I mean, it's not like you're running short on energy or technical capabilities here.
 — methinksnot, Apr 03 2006

 I can see where the gravity issues may cause a problem, but I still feel this would be the fastest way to produce a planet that could be lived on shortly (relatively) after the initial combination of the two planets. And any other way of terraforming a whole planet is going to result in a major trade-off in terms of very long periods of time. This just seems to be the quick(est) and dirty way to get a planet outside of Earth's orbit with comparable gravity and greenhouse gas atmosphere.

Can anyone calculate how much energy it would take to move Venus to Martian orbit? I wouldn't know where to start.
 — Agamemnon, Apr 03 2006

 While you are at it, why not run Jupiter thru the Kuiper belt and sweep up all that crap out there, then add Saturn and Neptune to boot. With the added mass you could make Jupiter into a nice new sun, which would automatically make its satellites into nice earthlike planets. And this without all the Arthur Clarke 2010 monolith magic, just pure science and big rocket engines.

[Agamemnon], I see you have just jumped right in to the HB. There is a lot of other terraforming stuff on the HB which might interest you - I recommend Venus 2.0.
 — bungston, Apr 03 2006

 //combining the masses of Venus and Mars would probably be enough to begin terraforming a new Earth//

 [Agememnon] Venus is about 82% the size of Earth, masswise, while Mars is about 11%.

You need another 7% Earth mass, buddy.
 — DesertFox, Apr 03 2006

Oh, close enough. There aren't enough asteroids to make a difference in the mass anyways (about 1/1000 or so of Earth mass total is estimated), so maybe pull a moon or two of Jupiter to get the water and some more raw materials.
 — Agamemnon, Apr 03 2006

But still, this isn't exactly novel. Stuff like this has been discussed thousands of times in sci-fi conventions, novel, and movies.
 — DesertFox, Apr 03 2006

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