Yeah, it’s doable. Stop stripping, and the pressure will build. Mars will start to terraform. This is what we want: the planet is participating in it in every way possible. When the pressure rises, the temperature rises.
The first level of terraforming is at 60 millibars, a factor of 10 from where we are now. It’s called Armstrong’s Limit, where your blood doesn’t boil if you walk on the surface. If you didn’t need a spacesuit, you could have a lot more flexibility and mobility. The higher temperature and pressure allow you to start the process of growing plants in soils.
There are several scenarios on how to make the magnetic shield. I’m trying to pull out an article that I’ve been working on for about two years. It will not be well received. The planetary community doesn’t like the idea of ââterraforming anything. But you know. I think we can also change Venus with a physical shield that reflects light. We create a shield and the whole temperature begins to drop.
In 2015, NASA approved the Europa Clipper mission to search for signs of life on Jupiter’s moon Europe, scheduled to launch in 2024, following the detection of plumes emerging from its underground ocean in 2013. Would you like this mission to happen sooner?
Oh, yeah, I would have loved to see him sooner, but that wasn’t going to happen. There are certain series of missions that are so large that they are called strategic missions. In order for them to actually happen, the stars must align. You have to propose it, have a strong case, go to the NASA administration, and then present it to Congress. Each year, I proposed a Europa mission. Every year. The administration was not interested in going to Europe.
The plumes on Europa are what enabled the Europa mission. I was at an American Geophysical Union meeting in 2013. Several scientists were going to give a talk on find a panache with Hubble on Europa, and I say, “Oh, my God.” I said it was fantastic, I want to do a press conference. I called back to NASA Headquarters, and they were successful. I brought this information with me to headquarters and added it to the history of Europa. It really turned the corner. They said, âWow, maybe we should do that. “
Congress decided against put a lander on the mission. Did you want one?
I would love a lander, but it’s not in the cards. It makes the mission too complicated, but everything we do on Clipper is powering a lander. I insisted that we have a high resolution imager so that, as we fly over certain areas, we’re going to get the information we need to be like, “Let’s land there, and it’s safe.” Europa has some really dangerous terrain, so if we don’t get the high-resolution imagery, we’ll never be able to land.
You want to take a step, but not a big step. You fail when you do this. Viking is this example, where we have taken a step too big. We didn’t know where to go, we didn’t know enough about soils or the toxins in soils. We didn’t really have a good idea of ââwhere water was on the planet in the past. There were 10 things we should have known before bringing the two Vikings to the surface.
Are you going to continue working on scientific papers when you retire?