Will Tesla Robots be used in Terraforming Mars?: Colonizing Mars and making humans interplanetary is Elon Musk’s dream. And it looks like the use of the new Tesla robot is part of Elon Musk’s plan to achieve that dream. How will he pull it off? Well, we’ll find out in just a second.
Terraforming or Terraformation; Literally, “Earth-shaping” is the hypothetical process of intentionally modifying the atmosphere, temperature, surface topography, or ecology of a planet, moon, or other body similar to Earth’s environment to make it habitable to our lives.
Essentially, this would allow us to set in motion scientific processes that would theoretically make uninhabited places like the Moon, Mars, Pluto, or Venus habitable.
The concept apparently emerged from science fiction, starting with the book The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. The plot of the book follows a dormant species of aliens originating from Mars who invade Earth to wage war on human armies.
Their ultimate goal is to change the Earth’s atmosphere, ecology, and temperature to suit their habitat needs, thus landscaping the planet. Human landscaping of Mars would first appear in Arthur C Clarke’s novel The Sands of Mars and Isaac Asimov’s The Martian Way, both science fiction authors.
Astronomer Carl Sagan proposed engineering the planet Venus in an article published in the journal Science in 1961. Sagan envisioned irrigating Venus’s atmosphere with algae, which would convert water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide into organic compounds.
As this process removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect would subside until surface temperatures dropped to “comfortable” levels. The resulting carbon, Sagan assumed, would be consumed by the high surface temperatures of Venus, and thus sequestered on the planet’s surface as “graphite or some non-volatile form of carbon.”
However, later discoveries about the positions of Venus made this particular view impossible. One problem is that Venus’ clouds are composed of highly concentrated sulfuric acid solutions, so even though atmospheric algae can thrive in environments unfavorable to Venus’ upper atmosphere, and even more insurmountable problem is that its atmosphere is very thick, high Atmospheric pressure would result in an “atmosphere of nearly pure molecular oxygen” and the planet’s surface would be covered with fine graphite powder.
This unstable combination could not be sustained over time. Any carbon that was fixed in the organic form would then be liberated as carbon dioxide through combustion, “short-circuiting” the terraforming process.
Sagan also envisioned making Mars habitable for human life in an article “Planetary Engineering on Mars” published in the journal Icarus. Three years later, a study by NASA officially addressed the issue of planetary engineering but used the term “planetary ecology” instead.
The study concluded that it was possible for Mars to support life and become a habitable planet. The first conference session on terraforming then referred to as “Planetary Modelling”, was held in the same year.
In March 1979, NASA engineer and author James Oberg hosted the First Terraforming Colloquium, a special session at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.
Oberg popularized the terraforming concepts discussed colloquially in his book New Earths. The term terraforming was not used in the title of a published journal article until 1982. Planetologist Christopher McKay wrote “Terraforming Mars,” a paper for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.
The paper discussed the possibilities of a self-regulating Martian biosphere, and the term “terraforming” has since become the preferred term.
Elon Musk, who led SpaceX on a mission to turn science fiction into science fact, has identified Mars as the location of choice to quote his ambitions: “make humanity interplanetary” and build the first colony on Mars by 2050.
To make the Red Planet habitable for life, Musk suggests terraforming Mars by first sharpening the planet’s ice-capped poles. We can’t tell if he was completely serious, but now, perhaps even realizing such a plan would require a supply of nuclear weapons to almost the entire world, Musk is taking a more sensible approach to colonization.
It’s a good pivot for Musk because science isn’t exactly on his side. Studies have shown that despite the true firepower, there is not enough greenhouse gas carbon dioxide available on Mars to create an atmosphere capable of supporting life on the surface.
Elon Musk now wants to build a city on Mars. In late 2020, the CEO of SpaceX explained via Twitter that the city would include life in the first glass domes. Like Earth, the planet would eventually be terraformed to support life.
While the planet-changing process would be too slow to be relevant in our lifetime, SpaceX could establish a human base there in our lifetime. From there, Musk plans to expand the base and make it self-sustaining.
SpaceX engineer Paul Wooster said the initial focus will be on installing life support systems, enabling surface power, developing habitats and building greenhouses.
As the city expands, it can support scientific research projects, similar to the International Space Station.
Musk previously suggested that the planet might also host a pizzeria as a comic. Terraforming would come much later, possibly after releasing the carbon dioxide stored inside the planet.
In August 2018, Musk shared a 1993 research paper that claimed humans could release stores, move around Mars with only a breathing apparatus, and satisfy the need for a spacesuit. Huh. One of the authors’ papers, Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, claimed that soil could hold enough carbon dioxide to create an atmosphere of 300 millibars larger than Mount Everest.
This brings us to the fact that life on SpaceX’s dome city and operations outside of it on the surface of Mars would be incredibly difficult and the human personnel sent there would be physically taxing.
The atmosphere is barely breathable and a human cannot expect to live after opening his or her spacesuit in the open. Complicating life on Mars is a sense of abandonment and enclosure, largely cut off from family and the rest of humanity.
A ‘Mars City’ would number no more than a hundred or fifty people and would be left entirely to govern itself. The stress of the knowledge that they are alone, cut off from the rest of humanity in a place that could easily kill them, will weigh heavily on the psyche of the astronauts and other professionals sent there.
Research studies and reality TV shows with a similar set-up as a group of people cut off from the rest of the world tell us things to worry about. Bitter brawls, irritable outbursts and fighting are commonly reported and witnessed.
Such conflicts often reach the point of total unacceptable and thus, it presents a unique challenge to SpaceX, NASA or any space corporation that wants to establish a colony on Mars.
Keep in mind that it takes about 2 years for a radio transmission to be received on Mars, a communication challenge that is very extreme. Perhaps this is where the new Tesla bot can solve this important issue?
For years, Elon Musk warned people about the dangers of AI-powered robots, even predicting “scary consequences” like “The Terminator.” Now, it seems he is taking matters into his own hands before humanity ends.
The electric vehicle company will develop a humanoid robot prototype called the “Tesla Bot,” Musk announced Thursday at Tesla’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Day. According to Musk, the prototype will be completed sometime in 2022.
Terminator fears aside, an artificial intelligence robot could be programmed to perform routine tasks of maintenance and construction at a SpaceX Mars base if they are able to complete development of the bot in time.
A robot does not require air, nor does its ‘skin’ react harshly to adverse environmental conditions. Thus the only complication is the ability to recharge the bots. It is also doubtful whether the Tesla bot will be completed by 2022 as promised by Elon Musk as it is quite an ambitious goal.
A lot of information is yet to come out about this, so we cannot say anything for sure right now. All available information about all aspects of SpaceX’s terraforming project for Mars tells us a depressing story.
First, it’s more than likely that Elon Musk will be able to oversee the start of projects to make the surface of Mars human habitable. The future is also uncertain and Musk would consider himself extremely lucky if his Mars colony is built and operated.
Therefore, we can safely say that the Tesla robot, at least not the current Tesla bot, will be used for terraforming Mars. so what do you think? Do you think Musk will work wonders? Or do you agree with us? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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Information Source: Youtube – Futurephile