The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to create organisms that will turn the Red Planet a shade of green, at least according to a reporter who had access to their recent conference. As with most things DARPA does, there’s not a lot of publicly available details about the plan. DARPA denies that terraforming Mars in anywhere in their sights. But comments made by Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office, seem to indicate that it is at least a hypothetical possibility.
In the distant future, if humans want to take a stroll outside on Mars, the planet will need some serious “redecorating” through a process called terraforming. Basically, we need to add plants, algae and other organisms that undergo photosynthesis in order to generate gases that build the foundation of an atmosphere. With an atmosphere in place, Mars will begin to look and feel a lot like Earth.
Terraforming Mars sounds like a job for generations far into the future — or a plot line written for Hollywood’s Matt Damon — but DARPA may be helping bring it nearer. . . .