Donald Trump wants to send a crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s, Elon Musk has plans for humanity to become a multiplanetary species and NASA’s Curiosity rover is busy taking photos that I can’t help but love to study in detail.
Space colonization and Mars in particular are really on mind and so I always wonder what it would look like once we’re able to terraform our not so distant red neighbor.
Maybe a human race originally started out from Mars, but had to abandon it after some cataclysmic event tens of thousands of years ago leaving behind this harsh, dull-red landscape with all its cracked surfaces.
Fortunately, there are guys like the software engineer Kevin Gill who has created nice renderings to give us a glimpse of what Mars might have looked when it still had oceans and a thicker atmosphere.
Gill created a digital map of the planet by using information from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter. He then simply used an editing program to create oceans and obvious fauna shaping the current Mars’ terrain:
Gill himself admits that he’s not an expert on ecology or astronomy, but who cares when the images are a real sight to see.
He’s done an awe-inspiring rendering showing off the highlights of Mars — its landscape of extremes, featuring both: Olympus Mons as one of the largest mountains and (the very Game-of-Throne-ish sounding) Vallis Marineris as one of the longest valleys in the solar system.
However, Gill’s inclusion of a biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere show exactly what’s out there and why we have to get there in person. A terraformed Mars looks so intriguing and we definitely should push the agenda further.
On the other side, the wonderful green and blue we’d like to see on Mars should also remind us that there’s so much work to do on Earth. Images and dreams of a ‘revitalized Mars’ should help inspire future generations and show that humans always have a sweet spot for our gorgeous marble we still call the only home we’ve ever known!
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