Fall 2017 Project

Idea: Create a low pressure simulated environment of the surface of Mars to run tests on the ability of extremophile microbial life to survive and increase surface temperature by absorbing more light.

Significance: This project is oriented around the purpose of understanding how extraterrestrial environments can be made habitable through careful human engineering. The use of self-reproducing, natural organisms seeks to support the Environment Team’s goal of promoting a sustainable approach to the colonization of Mars. By using microbial life to increase the surface temperature, this will help create a more hospitable habitat for humankind.

Proof of Concept: Although we may not be able to simulate exact Martian conditions, our project will focus on running tests under the two main factors that need to be addressed when approaching the task of terraforming Mars: low pressure and low temperature. This project seeks to provide opportunities to members for learning about the possibility of terraforming Mars and to inspire more complex projects and research in the future. Our first project may not produce new results unknown to modern science, but we hope that it sets the stage for future projects that expand upon our discoveries. We believe that creating an apparatus to simulate Martian conditions is a feasible accomplishment and challenges members to think creatively about how to build the most effective device for our simulation.

chase turnbull

chase turnbull

Environment Team Project Lead

chase_turnbull@berkeley.edu