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Terraforming

Artists rendition of the terraforming of Mars.

The terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") of a planet, moon, or other body is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by humans.

The term is sometimes used more generally as a synonym for planetary engineering. The concept of terraforming developed from both science fiction and actual science. The term was probably invented by Jack Williamson in a science-fiction story ("Collision Orbit") published during 1942 in Astounding Science Fiction, but the actual concept pre-dates this work.

Based on experiences with Earth, the environment of a planet can be altered deliberately: however the feasibility of creating an unconstrained planetary biosphere that mimics Earth on another planet has yet to be verified. Mars is considered by many to be the most likely candidate for terraformation. Much study has been done concerning the possibility of heating the planet and altering its atmosphere, and NASA has even hosted debates on the subject. Several potential methods of altering the climate of Mars may fall within humanity's technological capabilities, but at present the economic resources required to do so are far beyond that which any government or society is willing to allocate to the purpose. The long timescales and practicality of terraforming are the subject of debate. Other unanswered questions relate to the ethics, logistics, economics, politics and methodology of altering the environment of an extraterrestrial world. See also the anti-congestion argument. Terraforming of whole global environments may not be worthwile. Habitats may be better.

Energy & Pollution Resolutions might also play a role in Terraforming.

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