|Terraforming MarsMars Mission: The Next 10 Years
Donna Shirley, Manager, Mars Exploration Program, JPL
(running time: 30:22)
Excerpt fromRed Mars
by Kim Stanley Robinson,
Bantam Books, 1993
It may seem impossible now, but scientists are seriously considering the problem of terraforming—turning Mars into a living, breathing planet.
Listen to the audio file from Donna Shirley, manager of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program at JPL to find out what exploration plans are already underway. Then enter the world of science fiction with Kim Stanley Robinson’sRed Mars.
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Why is the environment on Mars currently unsuitable for human habitation? What technologies would need to be used to accomplish terraforming? How long would it take?
How realistic is the science fiction excerpt? Could some or all of it eventually be possible? Which parts of the excerpt are purely speculative fantasies? How do you know?
What are the benefits of exploring Mars? Are they worth the costs and risks?