DARPA hopes to terraform Mars with human-engineered organisms

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Mars may look like an inhospitable and barren landscape, but a new program underway at the Pentagon’s advanced research division is looking to create engineered organisms that can eventually transform the Red Planet into something more Earth-like.

human-engineered organisms

If humans are ever to live on Mars without being confined inside of man-made structures, the planet’s climate and surface would need to be radically altered. It features potentially dangerous planet-wide dust storms, low gravity, and its thin atmosphere, plus increased distance from the sun, makes it an especially cold place for any humans to settle – the average temperature is -50 degrees Celsius (-122 degrees Fahrenheit), according to NASA.

To change that, humanity may be able to engineer brand new organisms that can not only survive the harsh Martian climate, but also begin changing it in important ways. As described in a report by Vice’s Motherboard, that could mean introducing genetically engineered plants, algae and other organisms that could start heating up the planet and possibly even thicken its atmosphere.

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