OXYGEN IN MARS' ATMOSPHERE - we can live on mars (breathable air)

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Author Message
Kamil Traczyk

PostPosted: July 30, 2009 4:27 PM 


think about it.

Lets say you build a dome, and you take it to mars and drill it so its a permanent base ( regardless of how much it costs to put a huge dome on mars , im talking physicly not about the market and budget).

In that dome, you planted trees( for arguments sake, 20 of them), and now they are mature bacause you planted them 100 years ago, and they are in exelent condition. all the treees would have a 30 metre(or however much they need to support roots) soil elevation to supprt their roots.

the trees will feel like on earth and there is matenince with humans on board, watering them, and keeping them warm with earth like tempatures and so on.

you could ask now, whats the point of doing this , its only like building a greenhouse on mars - and mars' atmosphere is not getting any oxagen, because the trees are still in the dome.

well, we all know that trees take out the C (carbon) in CO2, (carbon dioxide) , to make oxagen- O2.


JUST 0.13% is breathable oxagen - well, not breathable hence humans need at least 21% of oxagen to breath ( 21% of the earths atmosphere is made up of oxagen, and clearly, life IS possible.

If you know how a submarine works, they have special pressurised air tanks which , when desending underwater, expell an exact % of oxagen and fill it up with water, thus "drowning" or going underwater ( due to weighing the submarine down , ovbiosly water weighs more than air does) .

If they want to go back to sea level, or rise to the surface, they pressurize the tanks (that are now filled with water) to expell the water back into the sea, and thus, the only thing that will replace the water is the air from inside the sumbarine. and when the submarine has less water, its lighter, and with more air, it begins to rise to the surface.

you may be thinking: "why is this guy talking to me about submarines? i want to know about life on mars" ,
but it is almost the exact same method of expelling air into MARS' ATMOSPHERE.

for example:

the dome holds 100%oxagen and 0%carbon dioxide.

lets you have a pressurized nozzle at one end of the dome, that sucks in (very accuratly and exact ammount, like a submarine),of carbon dioxide from mars' atmosphere. if the nozzle sucks in 10% of carbon dioxide, then the dome consists of 10% carbon, while, no oxagen left during the intake of carbon dioxide, so it would also consist of 100% oxagen.

so 100% oxagen in the dome, and 10% carbon dioxide. that makes for a grand total of 110% of gases in the dome. ( and yes it can go over 100%, think of a balloon, you can fill it to 150% of its original size) ( but this dome is not construscted of ballon plastic ovbiosly, just that its more like a car tire where its inflated but you can still put that extra 10% or air into it, to make it 110%)

with the carbon dioxide in the dome, the trees quickly begin the prosess of photosynthasis, taking away the C in CO2 and there fore producing OXAGEN!

at first, there would be, 9% of carbon didoxide in the dome, and 101% of oxagen. ( that 1% of carbon dioxide got made into oxagen)

the next day, the dome would hold 6% of carbon dioxide, 104% of oxagen. Do you see where im getting at!?

ALL THE TIME its 110% in total gases, just in different FORMS. and when theres 1% of that carbon dioxide left, there will be 109% oxagen!

after all 10% of the carbon dioxide turns into oxagen, there is 110% oxagen in the dome!

110% OXAGEN!!!

now your thinking : " he just explain photosynthasis to me, and i didnt need that either."


it might be a small amount, actually, really relly tiny amount of oxagen that is put into mars' atmosphere, but if you have patience, (and this may go on for generations), the oxagen level is mar's atmosphere keeps rising and there is more and more and more of oxagen in it.

the dome then has 100% (not 110%) oxagen concentration, and the cycle continues, until mars' atmosphere is filled with at least 21% of oxagen ( like earth) for breathable air! BUT. we'd probably need Close to 100% ( not 21%) of oxagen in its atmosphere because keep in mind earth's amosphere in NOT 21% oxagen 79 % carbon dioxide, but rather mostly composted of helium and nitrogen, THAN oxagen (at 21%)

i know that this might seem "impossible" and i know that no one has or ever will have the bugdet to invest this, and create this dome, but im talking physicly, not on a money scale.

just think about it... we can even create not just 1 dome, but 10! or 100!! or even a city of these domes , and keep building these domes, because the more domes we have, the more quickly the carbon dioxide gets changed into oxagen, and thus expelling more oxagen into mars until it is breathable air for humans to live on.

yes i know this was long, but iv never really talked about this, jus probably because i just thought of it on my own, and i didnt know how possible is can actually seem!

please i would apreciate some feedback i'v been sitting here for the past hour typing and my ass is starting to get numb Laughing

im only 15, so if i misworded anything or theres any debate on this little theory of mine , then please reply so i can understand whatever mistake i had made.




Posts: 344

Reply: 1

PostPosted: July 31, 2009 11:22 AM 

There are many existing books about "terraforming" Mars, i.e., making it more Earth-like; you might try googling it Your proposal deals with the content of the atmosphere, but there is also the thinness to consider---the atmospheric pressure on Mars is only roughly 1% of that on Earth, equivalent to the Earth's pressure at a height of 100,000 feet. Humans cannot survive without pressure suits in those conditions even if they have enough oxygen.


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Reply: 2

PostPosted: August 1, 2009 5:12 PM 

It's a good idea and not that difficult to achieve in the long run. There are some technical difficulties to be sorted out - ensuring the domes are really pressure-safe and they have protection against radiation. Then you will need to modify the soil on Mars and enrich it with a nutritional solution if plants like trees are going to grow.

One possibility is that these domes could be under much lower pressure than on Earth. On the New Mars forum it is suggested plants can grow in some thing like 5-10% of pressure on Earth. So these domes might not have to be under such high pressure and we may be able to walk through them with some fairly light breathing apparatus and a light space suit - more like a wet suit perhaps.

On Mars there is plenty of iron ore with which to make steel and plenty of silica to make glass.

Kamil Traczyk

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Reply: 3

PostPosted: August 3, 2009 1:32 PM 

i wasnt focusing on the air pressure, but i know there would be some anyway, but i was looking at just the posibility of the actual are' production' on mars to begin with

thanks for your feedback though!

Anthony Author Profile Page

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Reply: 4

PostPosted: August 4, 2009 7:40 AM 

There's no such thing as something that is composed of 110% of anything. It's definitionally impossible.

Let's say I take a container of 45mL of oxygen. It is currently filled with 100% oxygen.

Now I add 5mL of CO2 to it. The container now has 45mL of oxygen, 5mL of CO2. That's 90% oxygen, 10% CO2.


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Reply: 5

PostPosted: August 4, 2009 10:35 AM 

It might be easier to bio engineer a green plant that can live in the martian conditions, and get moisture and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If the plant would reproduce rapidly, we could convert the atmosphere quickly, and wipe out any species already there.


Kevin Author Profile Page

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Reply: 6

PostPosted: August 4, 2009 3:36 PM 

Asparagus will grow where the Perchlorates are i.e. near the poles but seasons are twice as long as they are on Earth so growing cycles will not suit plants from Earth.

These will need GM treatments as perhaps all things that leave Earth and decide to live on Mars.

Cold lonely deserts are not easy on the will to live.


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Reply: 7

PostPosted: August 12, 2009 1:19 PM 

Another consideration is that mars has very little magnetic field protection, so atmosphere produced would be swept away by the unchecked solar wind conditions. This is one theory as to where the Mars atmosphere / water went to.


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PostPosted: August 12, 2009 3:39 PM 

The loss of atmosphere by the solar wind is pretty slow. If terraforming created an atmosphere, it would be good for several million years. Repeated infusions every few million years would keep it going indefinitiely.


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Reply: 9

PostPosted: July 21, 2010 1:19 PM 

Mars gravity is unable to hold on to gasses on Mars. Most if not all Gasses will scape into space from Mars gravity. Therefore, No matter how much OXYGEN you put into MARS atmospher, it will scape from Mars. Unless you want to make space a breathable place for Human. Just Kidding.

I Have read many articles and plans about how to transforms Mars to living place. Each plan has it's difficulty and Technical issues. There is no single plan that is worked out all technical details and issues.


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Reply: 10

PostPosted: July 21, 2010 4:07 PM 

Hi Ben, whenever i read "Mars gravity is unable to hold on to gasses on Mars...." i immidiatly think of Titan - this low gravity moon of saturn with its massive athmosphere. But then again maybe its the exotic chemistry and low temperature which let that moon hold onto its athmosphere. Smile

ben short

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Reply: 11

PostPosted: July 21, 2010 5:59 PM 

PLEASE NOTE ;The "Ben " in reply 9 is not the Ben that once participated in this forum


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Reply: 12

PostPosted: July 21, 2010 9:24 PM 

Ben (Short). it really is good to see you still around. I hope you will be posting in the Geology Forum. I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Jim Bell on the MER. Fantastic images and some really interesting insights into the program and the findings. I think you would have been fascinated.

All the best. Wink

ben short

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Reply: 13

PostPosted: July 22, 2010 12:35 PM 

Serpens; I remain very interested in Mars and harbor a bunch of questions and thoughts about Endeavour.
Are Jim Bell's comments being published anywhere?


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Reply: 14

PostPosted: July 22, 2010 10:31 PM 


Glad you are hanging in...always enjoyed your comments. Endeavor should be something to see, indeed.



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Reply: 15

PostPosted: July 22, 2010 10:35 PM 

Hi Ben(S), The talk was a general overview co-sponsored by the Mars Society and Planetary Society, not a presentation of a published paper. It was effectively a continuation of his superb book 'Postcards form Mars'. He got across very well the continuing risk analysis arguments between scientists and engineers in what can and can't be done, even in the seemingly simple task of of taking images in late afternoon.

USF has an interesting thread on the geochemistry of Endeavour which you may enjoy. I would be really interested in seeing your thoughts in the Geology thread. Unfortunately Bill Harris has washed his hands of the forum as his insights were extremely valuable.


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Reply: 16

PostPosted: July 22, 2010 11:22 PM 

Yes, Mars has a thin atmosphere and a weak magnetic field that would never be able to support and atmosphere even a fraction of Earth's. At least that's what I've read. I've wondered about growing plants in spheres. A well could be drilled, maybe if you go deep enough in a certain area...you will bw able to pump liquid water to the surface. In some areas you might be able to send a machine to harvest polar ice and melt it with solar, nuclear, or geothermal energy. Water would be needed to water the plants. Now we have water, plants and a perfect heated, radiation filtering, air tight, pressure regulated dome.

Another thing that would be HUGE in this kind of endeavor would be the native soils in the area. Sure they would need some kind of magic fertilizer that would have to be brought from Earth or made on Mars with a bunch of equipment and lots of energy. But the big thing might be the pH of the soils (8 or 9 in some locations). Other locations might be more acidic than caustic. Stabilizing the pH would be costly at first and you would likely need more equipment and stuff to take there.
There are some veggies/fruits that would grow in caustic or acidic soil but an enclosed ecosystem might be difficult to obtain with just a few species limited by pH. I suppose we could genetically engineer an ecosystem for Mars but the cost would be huge and even then we could never turn it into an Earth-like planet. Life would always be limited to radiation proof space suits, radiation proof domes and sealed pressure regulated caves. Terra forming Mars would take hundreds of years and it wouldn't stick. The weak magnetic field would slowly release the new atmospheric gasses into space. If we could give Mars a magnetic field we would have a chance at terraforming, otherwise I think we're pretty much limited to domes for now.

The pH of the soil is a big deal. Genetic engineering seems like an obvious solution to pH. There are many unknowns in that field and stabilizing soils to create a longterm ecosystem friendly environment is probably not as simple as it might seem.

I think that we will spend more time looking around for evidence of life on Mars but I bet it will be a long time before we found major colonies there, unless we discover life or a valuable resource.
Any major colonies would be dependent on regular shipment of material. The long distance transport and hence, effectiveness of these materials would be hampered by radiation exposure and time (expiration dates for pharmaceuticals, etc.).

Joe Smith

Posts: 86

Reply: 17

PostPosted: July 25, 2010 6:19 PM 

Now we see lava tube openings that would provide habitation with a "spray on the wall" and two airlocks/with redundancy of course.. Or for that matter,as many airlocks and chambers you would wish.
Living area,sleeping/eating/bathroom,,
Storage anyone?
Lab Space?
I think I will try to Google ::
Oxygen generator carbon dioxide generator,,,or to be blunt,,I will find out how oxygen(/nitrogen and whatever,breathable)
air is generated.
Thanks to All.
Sunday,The Day of our Lord,July 25 2010,time 5:16 evening,,82F ambient .Nice.

Joe in Texas


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Reply: 18

PostPosted: August 4, 2010 10:57 PM 

I was told that trees only make oxygen for 15 years. I don't believe that is true. Can someone tell me where to go to look this up.

Joe Smith

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Reply: 19

PostPosted: August 5, 2010 11:16 PM 

Joe,you would be surprised what todays modern bacteria-ologist can whip up,,,oil eating microbes,so you can bet the farm they can turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.Big Time.
Joe in Texas


Posts: xxx

Reply: 20

PostPosted: August 16, 2010 7:05 PM 

Nice theory but dude really check your spelling.

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