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Terraform


verb

Modify and alter the surface and atmosphere of a planet as to enable life on said plant to be the same as life exists on Earth.
[Babylon Dictionary]

The terraforming (literally, Earth-shaping) of a planet, moon, or other body is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by humans.

The term is sometimes used more generally as a synonym for planetary engineering. The concept of terraforming developed from both science fiction and actual science. The term was probably invented by Jack Williamson in a science-fiction story (Collision Orbit) published during 1942 in Astounding Science Fiction, but the actual concept pre-dates this work. Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men (1930) provides a fictional example in which the planet Venus is modified after a long and destructive war with the original inhabitants of the planet.

Humans currently do not possess the technological or economic means to terraform another planet or moon. Since space exploration is primitive, terraforming techniques remain speculative. Based on experiences with Earth, the environment of a planet can be altered deliberately: however the feasibility of creating an unconstrained planetary biosphere that mimics Earth on another planet has yet to be verified. Mars is considered by many to be the most likely candidate for terraformation. Much study has been done concerning the possibility of heating the planet and altering its atmosphere, and NASA has even hosted debates on the subject. However, a multitude of obstacles stand between the present and an active terraforming effort on Mars or any other world. The long timescales and practicality of terraforming are the subject of debate. Other unanswered questions relate to the ethics, logistics, economics, politics and methodology of altering the environment of an extraterrestrial world.
[Wikipedia]
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Page last modified on Thursday December 23, 2010 00:00:01 UTC by admin. (Version 0)