In theory, terraforming or paraterraforming looks possible for any planet, moon or asteroid. Still, because of the huge costs to transform a world and to maintain it, some celestial bodies will not be transformed.
Evaluating the benefits Edit
- . The Population Limit is the maximum amount of people a planet can host without damaging its ecosystems. Nobody would like to invest much money on a place that cannot sustain too many settlers.
- . The lifetime of a terraformed world is also important. For example, if we use Ground Insulation or Artificial Continents, they will have a limited lifetime, that can be extended with further working.
- . The terraforming time is the amount of time needed before the planet can be inhabited. Depending on conditions and technology, it might vary between decades and millennia.
- . Maintaining a terrafomed world might also be expensive in some cases, as settlers will need to replenish atmosphere and water. Depending on conditions, the maintenance might be too expensive.
- . The living conditions might or might not be properly for humans. For example, on a Low - spinning planet, besides the long days and nights, temperature might fluctuate too much. Also, on a planet with an Elliptical orbit, hot summers and freezing winters might occur. Radiations around B - type stars can be low enough for life to exist, but humans will have a hard life.
Terraforming costs Edit
There are some celestial bodies that will request huge costs to terraform:
- Terraforming Gas Giants is very hard. In theory, it is possible, but in reality it might be too expensive.
- A Rough planet will need extra artificial light.
- Venus (whose climate resembles the inside of a high-pressure furnace) and similar planets have atmospheric conditions that are more related to hell then to Earth. Terraforming them might be very hard.
- Asteroids and small moons are too small to retain an atmosphere. So, for them, paraterraforming is more likely.
- A Pluto - Class Planet is rich in water ice and gasses. Because of the limited radiation input from the Sun, melting the ice will require a long time. Building Artificial Continents or Ground Insulation will also cost. And in the end, Plants on new worlds will need an artificial source of light to survive.
- Planets around high radiation sources, like Neutron stars, will require expensive, high-tech shielding.
Some celestial bodies are completely incompatible with terraforming: stars, stellar remnants (like black dwarfs) or brown dwarfs, even if they are cold enough. These bodies are too hot and even if they are cold enough, their gravity is too high for any living creature to survive.
Maintenance cost Edit
This is an important factor. Atmosphere around small bodies are slowly blown away by solar winds, an Artificial sun needs to be powered-on, Greenhouse Gases have a half-life and deed to be replenished and in some places Protecting future worlds from impacts is required.
The costs will be supported by the population settled there. The Population Limit shows us how many people can settler there, but we also must see how developed will be the economy.
Terraforming is like an investment. Most probably, terraforming will be founded by states that want to expand their borders, by corporations and maybe also by public founding. Just like when European powers colonized the New World, they were looking for benefits. Before terraforming, one must see if the costs are worth the result. There will be huge costs and settlers will be able to live in open air only after a long time. In addition, if the new world will request a too expensive maintenance, then the colony will not be able to sustain itself.