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The Martian - The W1nners' Club

This unemployment lark isn’t much fun is it? For starters, it can be incredibly embarrassing seeing one of your neighbours in the job centre that you’ve been trying to shag for years and who previously thought you had a decent job. The only way you’ll be able to remedy this situation is if you’re able to somehow do something amazing with your life and get back some of your old vim and vigour.

Have you ever considered terraforming Mars?

It might take you several thousand millennia, but your descendants will probably build a statue that is meant to be you, but will inevitably look nothing like you inside one of the red planets large craters.

If wandering around in a space suit all day and enduring epic dust storms sounds like it could be a blast, here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:

1.    Let off a few nuclear bombs


To clarify, this doesn’t mean letting off nuclear bombs on Mars’ surface. SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk hypothesised that it might be possible to induce climate change on the red planet by letting nuclear bombs off above Mars’ poles. The resulting heat would work a bit like having a blinking sun in the sky and as a result, the poles would melt releasing lots of the greenhouse gas CO2. As we know well from our earthly environmental cock ups, the more greenhouse gasses you release, the more you increase the overall temperature in the atmosphere and as a result, Mars’ overall surface temperature would increase. Maybe we should be encouraging Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to fall out a bit more often on the proviso that they settle their differences over the atmosphere of Mars’ poles?

2.    Put some giant mirrors into space


NASA already has a work in progress for this idea via a propulsion system that utilises the sun’s radiation and some rather oversized reflective mirrors. These mirrors could be used to aid the Mars terraforming process if they were placed several thousand miles from Mars’ surface and used to reflect the sun’s radiation back to the planet’s surface. Scientists have postulated that the mirrors in question would need to be about 150 miles in diameter and would weigh about 200,000 tons. Assuming such a product is not available for sale at Boots or Debenhams, there is a possibility that the mirrors could be constructed from material found in space instead.

3.    Dump some ammonia into the planet’s atmosphere


One of the more intricate methods of altering Mars’ atmosphere involves the use of ammonia and its powerful greenhouse gas properties. Large amounts of the compound exist in frozen form on several planets in the outer Solar System and scientists believe it may be possible to move some of these icy cometary bodies and send them into Mars’s atmosphere – what they haven’t hypothesised however is how to strap an asteroid that is 6 miles in diameter, onto the back of a f*cking space shuttle!

4.    Pump CFCs into the atmosphere


The pumping of CFC’s into the atmosphere of Mars to boost the greenhouse effect and thus promote the planet’s warming, would require roughly 40 million tons which is about 3 times the total CFC production ever manufactured by humans to date. No doubt deodorant manufacturers will be particularly interested in this fact.

5.    Import methane into the atmosphere


One of the other ways it may be possible to create a more earth-like atmosphere on Mars is by importing Methane into the atmosphere. The Methane would aid the greenhouse effect when released, although this method may be flawed as to our knowledge, tins of baked beans do not exist in sufficient numbers on Mars to allow for the production of Methane in large enough quantities.

6.    Reduce the planet’s reflectiveness


The reflectiveness or ‘albedo’ of Mars’ surface is what determines how much of the planet’s incoming sunlight gets sent packing back into outer space. If you are able to somehow reduce this, the ground would absorb more sunlight which would in turn increase the planet’s overall temperature. One of the ways this can be achieved is by spreading the dark dust that exists on Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos, which are reckoned to be among some of the blackest bodies in the Solar System apart from Katie Price after a visit to the tanning salon.

7.    Introduce microbial life forms into the environment


The introduction of dark microbial life forms like lichens, algae and bacteria would absorb sunlight, thus warming up the atmosphere. It would also contribute a small amount of oxygen to the atmosphere – although this amount wouldn’t be enough to allow humans to breathe which would therefore make Mars an ideal holiday destination for people that enjoy fox hunting and vote UKIP.

8.    Oh………and you’ll actually have to survive once you get there


All of the aforementioned will of course depend on you not dying en-route to Mars, having a successful landing, surviving the psychological stress of the journey, the exposure to low pressure, extreme temperatures, UV radiation, cosmic rays, corrosive Martian regolith (loose rock and dust), starvation, long-term low gravity, or stuff we just haven’t thought of yet – then maybe you might get to terraform the red planet for future generations of humans to enjoy.


Good Luck!

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