Yesterday, my son and I watched a video of the guy on Youtube that can balance anything, snap his fingers and walk away. He was impressed and asked me, "Dad, can you balance the world?" Not to be outdone, by a childish question, I jumped to my feet, stuck my hands on the floor and shifted my body, mimicking the motions of the Youtube professional. I carefully pulled my hands away and snapped my fingers. "There! I balanced the world." We all laughed and his imagination kept building into the things he might try.
On to the point of this story, I'll just say that sometimes in life, we just need to change our perspective about how we are looking at reality. When one chooses to shift the perspective, possibilities open up that weren't visible. There is a future where Elon Musk flies a few people to Mars, builds a base and perhaps drives a Tesla on the surface of another planet. Congratulations Elon! We should celebrate every step along the path towards interplanetary civilization and yours has been significant and ambitious. But there are still significant hurdles that need to be overcome. There is still nothing to breathe, nothing to drink and our "civilization" resembles a two man outpost where we send people to die.
When you want to build a planet, you'll have to model the natural events that built these planets that we live on right now. We have the small tech to place interconnected GPS to every asteroid in the NEO as well as beyond Mars. When we mine the moon for water that can easily be converted to rocket fuel, our purpose should be to use that fuel to play interplanetary pool, gently pushing asteroids into a collision course with Mars. A carefully crafted course of collisions occurring over centuries could wake up the sleepy core and give us a future that resembles our present home. Think of it like the Late Late Heavy Bombardment, similar to the Late Heavy Bombardment that brought us water to Earth and maintained a stable temperature that allowed life to evolve.
To be clear we need 100 years of scientific research to determine how much methane producing life is there, what it's DNA looks like and whether it came from Earth or by its own genesis. Those are important questions and need to be examined. Our first cities on the Martian landscape should be underground, beneath the threat of radiation or impact from above. There, we'll be able to maintain living conditions much more easily than on the planetary dust storm ridden surface. We could have a chance of sending enough woman-power to make a difference in answering those questions.
But think, for a moment, past those first 100 years of primitive mammals living in holes. We need to evacuate the planet all together and bombard the place with volcano producing iron that will generate an atmosphere. It would take several hundred years to coordinate retrieval of some Trojans (those are the stable asteroids in Jupiter's orbit around L4 and L5) and we still need some water from [insert sources of water here]. But about 1,000 years from now, when we've mastered DNA modification to account for the reduced gravity, atmospheric change and use of any other advantages - there is a reasonable chance that we could master the skills needed to shape planets to our needs and start utilizing real estate on our modified Mars 2.0.
You already own the whole Universe. Isn't it time you started using it to your advantage?
P.S. When done right, we could avoid the fate of the dinosaurs.
P.P.S. More likely is that we botch our first surgery and end up like those dinos though.
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