Mars Terraforming Project

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A Mars Terraforming Project crewmember conducting weather observations on the surface of Mars after the third Martian test comet drop failure.

The goal for the Mars Terraforming Project is to give Mars a Steppes/Taiga/Desert/Savannah climate, with Olympus Mons becoming a "very Rocky Mountain Ski Resort kind of place". The Barsoomians insisted on an atmosphere thick enough to breathe and Hellas Planitia to be filled with water, so that Helium could host an annual regatta on the Hellas Sea.

The two main things Mars needs for long term viability are an atmosphere and a magnetosphere. Atmosphere's the easiest part of this; it's never going to be a full 1 bar, but a good .75 to .85 bar at "sea level" is possible. The tricky bit is setting up a magnetosphere to protect the new air. The atmosphere should be stable for the short term even without a magnetosphere (for values of "short term" running into the 2200s at least), but the Project doesn't want to have to replenish the planet's air every century or two.

The project plans to simulate a magnetosphere by a Xavier Protocols style set of magnetic field generator satellites (solar powered, hardened, armed, and patrolled).


Fall 2008
Mars Terraforming Project begins.
Jan 2009
Port Phobos expansion begins.
Deimos becomes increasingly hollow as terraforming experiments continue.
Summer 2009
Anticipation: Formal proposals for the Venus and Mars Terraforming Projects are put together, voted on, and agreed to.
Sept 2009
Port Phobos expansion reaches final stage.
Deimos formally becomes MTP home base.
Dec 2009
Port Phobos becomes busiest port in Fenspace.
Magnetic field satellite in Mars orbit.
Feb 2010
Mars Terraforming Project charter finally signed by all parties. First of five magnetic field projector trial satellites is orbited.
March 2010
Kandor-Con: Treaty of Kandor-Con clears the terraforming projects of violations of the Outer Space Treaty.
May 2010
Magnetic field satellite trial finishes. Work started on next-generation versions.
July 2010
Ultra High Resolution scans of Mars are completed.
Sept 2010
The terraforming projects agree to avoid using Saturn for resources, going to the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud for water reserves.
Nov 2010
First of six test comet drops occurs in southern Mars.
Dec 2010
First Xavier-class magnetosphere generator satellite orbited over Mars. One will be orbited each month until the constellation of 60 plus 10 spares is completed.
Feb 2011
Second test comet drop on Mars, this time filmed extensively.
Mars orbital traffic becomes so extensive that MTP committee places Port Phobos in charge of orbital ATC duties. This is assisted by Starbase 1.
April 2011
Initial deployment of oxy-generating bacteria on Mars.
June 2011
Third Martian test comet drop ends in failure when the comet disintegrates violently in upper martian atmosphere.
July 2011
The Aukland near-miss causes the MTP to halt its test comet drops until it sorts out comet selection procedures and upgrades safety protocols.
Dec 2011
MTP resumes test comet drops, but on a six month schedule instead of three.
March 2012
Delays in getting resources from the Main Belt causes the Trekkies, Warsies, and Senshi to send investigative missions out to it to assist the Wizards.
May 2012
SOS-Con: Operation Great Justice takes resources away from the terraforming projects, slowing them down.
With the delivery of the 16th Xavier satellite, Mars has a measurable (if very weak) magnetosphere again.
June 2013
Fifth (and last) test comet drop on Mars occurs.
Sept 2013
Terraforming projects temporarily halted after attack on Serenity-con.
Jan 2014
End of Boskone War. Terraforming projects resumed.

(stuff happens)

2060 - 2070
Mars reaches the desired atmospheric pressure and surface temperature. The main aquifers have been melted and the basins flooded to the planned depth.
2150 - 2300
Sometime in this range plant and animal life has reached ecopoietic status in the "untamed" parts of Mars. The Martian Terraforming Project is officially over.

Failed Advertising Slogans For the Mars Terraforming Project

It's Mars, It's Not As Cold As Deep Space!

It's Mars, maybe you can breathe here someday!

Mars: Like Earth Without the Pollution

Famous Staff

The SOS-Con scene "Down In Callahan's Bar" established that somebody handwaved Mars Rover Opportunity, who has since found work with the Mars Terraforming Project