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Volume 1, Issue 3      March 1994


Volcanos Seen As Martian Energy Source

This will be a periodic column to consider solar energy alternatives. The following concept, though not endorsed by NSPRI or our writer, starts this column off with a big bang.


The Shimizu Institute suggests using active, but presently dormant Martian volcanos as a source of heat and atmospheric gasses to terraform Mars. "Terraforming" means to make another planet's atmosphere more like that of the Earth's in order to support Earth-like life and possibly even humans.

Mars has some of the largest volcanos in our solar system, although NASA's Spinoff 1991 (page 11) pictures a three-dimensional perspective of the surface of Venus that was made by superimposing radar imaging data on altimetry data. This view shows the 9,800-foot-high volcano Gula Mons at top right in the image and the neighboring Sif Mons, a 6,300-foot volcano, at top left. In the foreground are lava flows that extend more than 70 miles down the flanks of the mountains.

According to a special advertising supplement insert by the Shimizu Institute In Final Frontier magazine, it is suggested that "with thermonuclear detonations, it might be possible to trigger vocanic activity [on Mars]. The eruptions of hot magma would melt the ice and liberate the frozen atmosphere." -- Zillian Tang.

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National Solar Power Research Institute, Inc., © 1994.
Editor - Mark Ciotola; Assoc. Editor - A. To; Publisher - Peter Spangler. Contributing writers: Abdoulaye Yansane, Jean Wu, Ri-Xi Liang, Zilian Tang. Officers: Ri-Gui Dalia Liang, Ann Marie Cheng and Mark Ciotola. Subscriptions: 50 reimbursement per issue domestic / 23 plus postage foreign. A matching donation is suggested, but optional. Limited number of free copies available. Mail subscriptions and correspondence to the National Solar Power Research Institute, Inc., 601 Van Ness Avenue Suite E3248, San Francisco, CA 94102. V1 I3.