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Terraforming

Assembling A Moon For Venus or Mars
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Moons create tides which may be necessary to life in the oceans. Tides mix waters, create changing shore conditions which are used as nurseries for creatures, and possibly oxygenating water by forcing it to turn over in bays and inshore environments.

Using solar sails and/or solar concentrators to slowly move volumes of free-body rock could put it in a stable orbit around a planetary body. A solar sail could over generations guide a rocky body into an orbit around a planet.

By carefully combining the solar wind and concentrating solar light on a body such as a comet, you could create a solar 'rocket' motor with the solar sail, raising it's efficency at the cost of delivering less mass to the moon.

pneumatic, Oct 14 2002

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       Taking generations" to accomplish almost guarentees that a short sighted race like ours will not attempt it, but it sounds like it could work. +   

       Umm, possibly. Small point, but in order to have tides and the benefits of oxygenated shorelines you need water and oxygen as well. Could you use the solar sails to crash-land a few comets? The ice should melt, evaporate, and form an atmosphere. Eventually you might end up with an ocean.
egbert, Oct 14 2002
  

       Plenty of water there already, in the form of sulphuric acid.
dare99, Oct 14 2002
  

       Mars already has moons. Venus could use a good-sized one, though.
phoenix, Oct 14 2002
  

       'Free-body rock' I think that in practice you wil most likely end up with a ring of debris orbiting the planet, like Saturn. Still it might look quite nice!
big_boy_gun_bell, Oct 14 2002
  

       Bring ammonia from outer planets to Venus. Reacts with sulphuric acid in atmosphere to produce ammonium sulfate. Water, fertilizer, carbon dioxide... maybe a moon might be worthwhile.   

       Mars, however, is geologically... indolent? Comatose? Dead? Crust is too thick and solid to tidally knead anything worthwhile out of it. Tidal heating gets energy from angular momentum of moon... would require a huge, close moon... maybe several... I think he's dead.
lurch, Oct 15 2002
  

       [Admin: As a title, "Terraforming" doesn't tell us anything - please change the title of this idea to something more descriptive - e.g. "Build a moon for Venus".]
hippo, Oct 15 2002
  

       And a point I forgot to make in my first annotation: This is not a new idea.
phoenix, Oct 15 2002
  

       Why assemble? What's wrong with Callisto? Or Ganymede? Or Europa? You just need to do a little cosmic billiard balling to get one of the above into the right orbit. Of course...you don't want to scratch.
cloudface, Nov 25 2003
  
      
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