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Bioforming and terraforming: A balance of methods for feasible space colonization

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This paper is a summary of results achieved in a report concerning the subject of Terraforming entitled "Visysphere Mars - Terraforming meets engineered life adaptation", developed by 22 students from the International Space University (ISU). The report totaled 163 pages and defined a new concept of integrating the systems needed to support a human society on Mars. The potential applications of nontraditional and oftentimes controversial methods were examined to support the settlement of Mars. Specifically, the authors focused on the integration and application of advanced technologies in fields like genetic engineering, biotechnology, robotics, and terraforming, before the end of the current century. Shortterm, economically feasible terraforming methods to change Mars into a more 'Earthlike' environment were described. Following this, current methods of actively adapting life to fit these new Earthlike conditions were developed into original and innovative solutions for living on Mars. The purpose of the project was to look at ways of reducing the time spans and complexity involved in a complete terraforming of Mars, and to ultimately define a way of creating a techno-ecosphere on Mars while the planet is only partially terraformed. One important aspect of this study was to examine the religious, ethical, political, and legal questions that arise from this 'blurring of lines' between life and technology. In this way, not only 'how' these technologies can aid in the future of space exploration is addressed, but also the ways in which these technologies can be implemented based on societal considerations.

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