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Mars terraformed


The recent hubbub about the ‘Siding Spring’ comet (aka WORMWOOD) heading for Mars got me thinking about terraforming. Should the comet actually hit the Red Planet the impact would be immense. The nucleus of the comet is estimated to be from 15 km to 50 km wide traveling at a velocity 56 km/second. An impact would generate an energy force measured in the billions of megatons generating immense heat energy. Millions of megatons of crust would be ejected creating a crater hundreds of miles wide. It is estimated that the impact could be seen from Earth with the naked eye during the daytime.

Mars is cold and dry and could help it sustain life. The relatively small size of Mars compared to Earth caused significant volcanic activity to cease and the iron core to solidify billions of years ago. The solidification of the iron core caused the magnetosphere to diminish significantly. This subjected the atmosphere billions of years of buffeting by solar wind gradually blowing much of it off the planet. Thus the planet dried out and much of the water receded into aquifers and the average temperature dropped to its current average of −55 °C. An impact would cause the average temperature to increase significantly and water would be released from aquifers. Underground water combined with the vaporized remains of comet would thicken the atmosphere and fill a boreal sea.

A single comet may not ultimately be enough to completely terraform the planet. In Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy comets where dropped from the Kuiper Belt to thicken the atmosphere introducing more water vapor. Multiple direct impacts could prove counter productive by introducing too much heat energy. Maneuvering robots could adjust the trajectory of the comet intersecting the planet at a shallow angle thus allowing the comet to disintegrate in the atmosphere without impacting the surface. Robots could introduce algae and plants generating oxygen and nitrogen could be dropped in from Titan. The thickened atmosphere will reduced the amount of normal solar radiation that reaches the surface. Coronal mass ejections and solar flares will continue to be a threat to life though because of a lack of significant magnetosphere.

Unfortunately a direct impact by WORMWOOD is becoming less and less likely by the day with the latest odds at 1 in 8000. The above may be possible though with technology currently being researched and developed by NASA and several private space mining start-ups. Dr. Philip Metzger, a NASA physicist/planetary scientist, has recently posted about recent space mining activity on his blog. Perhaps if these technologies were more mature WORMWOOD could be redirected after all.


Update – Soon after Tweeting this post I received these replies from Dr. Metzger:


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Marie Osmand’s inflated lips, GSK’s Reversitol, quit bitching bitches, Canadian proojects, double Musk and NO BLEEPS, graduate school, not moving to Roswell or Decatur, “The Jew” returns, Rick Flair’s clot and tragedy, fan-dang-go, Wormwood update, cosmic tits, prayer, Soyuz fast track, feeling guilty, spending money to get out Egypt, leaps of faith, Easter with the shixa and the shixlets, bunnies and eggs, Jews perhaps want Christmas, gelt, Passover Coke, a German Jew in a Box, identifying a Jew, Richard Patrick of Filter is a hyperbolic douche, rounding errors, 9/11 comparisons, and round errors.


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Missing special guest, new “bleep count” record, alien visitations, gauntlets at work, shit talking, Jeff Bezos and Apollo rockets, found treasure transferred to China, military tech spin offs, Korean communist unicorns, red wine is #happening, cheaper air travel, comic hackery, dumped bits, ideas for Mr. Musk, energon cubes, Falcon Heavy (or Voltron), and upcoming special guests.


Quick Bits



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Regarding #MrHospitality, SimCity DRM, a free sh!t game from EA, Wicked musical, “bleep count”, the proposed “offensive meter”, NASA’s space miner Dr Phil Metzger (@Philtill777), naming WORMWOOD and Curiosity Rover, rats in the sewer lair, UFO flies in a volcano, ancient aliens, Iron Man flying in a circle, Elon Musk in Iron Man, Christopher Nolan and DC movies, spider-sense, Mr Obama and the Irish, doing the Superman in the early morning, and caffeine gum.



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Listeners are offended (hint: then don’t listen), @smolderkisses, killer comet (i.e. WORMWOOD) visiting for Mars in 2014, work-life balance, the Chisel Plague, Melissa King (again), our favorite Tyson’s vest, spare change, SimCity woes and proposed remedy, Mass Effect, Rockstar Games, suitcases full of money, life in New York, Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd, munchkins, suffering through Wicked, Chinese hubris, clouds of sh**, space lasers for science, and Kim Jung Un and his pal Dennis Rodman.



Find out how debris from a destroyed Chinese satellite collided with a tiny Russian satellite, in this Infographic.

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new-girl-scout-cookie-mango-creme-nutrifusion-abcA budding porn-star (aka former Miss Delaware Teen USA), bittorrent, Six Sigma holidays, who’s who on the podcast, British English, Mr Hospitality and verbal contracts, our friend The Jew, @smolderkisses, Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Joe Rogan ExperienceElon Musk (again), Hawaiians, Kim Jong-un, SpaceX CRS-2 launch, Curiosity on Mars, comet headed for Mars, freezing meat and Girl Scout cookies for the chislets, and The Smolder’s message to the future.