|Comet West apparently|
broke into four fragments
So let me take a first, tentative, if nascently imperial, step beyond our world.
How about turning Mars into a summer home for Alaskans?
Here is how we would do it. First, develop one of the larger spacecraft considered for "Project Orion," which use nuclear bombs as propulsion.
Second, capture several dozen large comets with a lot of ice, and force them to crash on the surface of Mars. (The mass of Earth's oceans is about 5 million times the mass of Halley's comet, which is a small comet. We would need at least 1/500th as much water to make a viable ocean on Mars, whose surface area is one third that of Earth -- a thousand feet deep might be a good start.)
Third, if needed, add a smaller, more salt-rich comet or two. Shake well to mix.
Fourth, wait for the energy of the crash to melt the ice -- this might take some careful calibration, we'll put our best Chinese and Indian engineers on the job. Before the oceans evaporate into space, they should provide an atmosphere for a few thousand years, which we can tweak, once we have enough practice with our own. (Perhaps tax credits for Humvees on the Red Planet?)
Fifth, stock the new oceans with halibut, king crab and the better species of salmon.
Then open Mars up as a winter resort for Alaskans who can't book a flight to Hawaii, or in case we have to sell Hawaii to China to pay off our debt.
The sun does not shine very brightly on Mars, admittedly. But Alaskans are used to that. And it's sunny every day. We could, perhaps, also import a few seals, polar bears, and other animals that enjoy that sort of weather, once we've got the planetary thermostat down. There's a fair amount of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere already, so that should warm things up.
If Sarah Palin buys a summer home on Mars, she can reign as governor, if not goddess of the sea (a position that may not tax her powers of patience for too long.) Then, as Earth increasingly resembles its greenhouse-gas befogged sunward neighbor, the saying will come true, "Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus."
|Fish the Red Planet!|