Talk:Bringing down Phobos

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Lost information

Although I like the recent change, I do not fully agree with it, because the following information got lost:

  • time until phobos becomes a real threat
  • obstacle for building a space elevator
  • several technological approaches to lift Phobos into a higher orbit (I doubt the rocket technology is the best, for it consumes vast amounts of chemical fuels)

-- Rfc 06:17, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but rocket technology is pretty much all we have right now, but in response to that, instead of a resource consuming chemical rocket, what about a nuclear rocket instead? If there are any volatile materials within Phobos, they could be utilized as fuel. I seriously doubt the feasibilty of space elevators. Beside that, phobos could act as a way station for spacecraft coming to and from Mars. T.Neo 09:30, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Why are you in doubt about the feasibility of space elevators? I find it extremely useful (and simple!) if used only for landing on the Martian surface. I look forward to read your concerns in the article space elevator ;-) -- Rfc 07:24, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Why not simply re-oreintate Phobos to an aereostationry orbit, and use it as an anchor for the space elevator. T.Neo 12:32, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

You would need vast amounts of energy (fuel) for changing the orbit of such a heavy body. Can you calculate the needed energy? I think, a much smaller counterweight will do, e.g. a heap of burnt out rocket stages, maybe filled with some rocks from the moons. -- Rfc 12:21, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I cannot, unfortunately, calculate the amount of fuel required. The problem I have with this article, is that it is too destructive. Small bodies, like Phobos and Deimos, will be the main source of goods in the solar system, due to the fact that it takes little energy to lift off of their surface. Phobos could be moved into a higher orbit with low thrust over a long time. Ion engines come to mind. By the time terraforming begins or a space elevator becomes plausible, we will have the technology to boost Phobos into a higher orbit. I propose moving to a neutral name i.e. "Manipulating the orbit of Phobos", and then having "deorbit" and "manipulation of orbit" sections. How does that sound? T.Neo 09:42, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

There is nothing saying that Phobos has to be brought down. The purpose of an article in these pedias is to provide information on possibilities. Phobos may indeed be brought down, or it may be boosted, or it may be mined to nothing. I prefer mining. The point is that reasons for actions, methods for achieving actions, and possible consequences and summaries of alternatives to those actions should be included in any article written. The summary can then be linked to a full article describing the alternative. If you see something that is missing from an article, please add it. In the future it will be decided what the proper course of action is based on the current level of technology and economics of that time period. The goal is to provide a guide for all possibilities. Actual numbers are a plus and will indeed be necessary for any effort. If no numbers are available it should be stated that this area needs further research/study or should be tagged with an "incomplete" template for the article or section. It's not so much a debate as it is a "how to" guide for manipulating the future. Cliche, but remember you're old D&D modules. If the party kills the phobos, go to page 9. If the party robs phobos of its riches, go to page 7. If the party strings phobos up by its neck, go to page 8. Removing info from articles is unnecessary as we need to provide as much information as possible in order to guide a proper course of action. :D -- Jarogers2001 07:35, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Solar sails are suggested, and so are colliding a number of small asteroids into it. I'm not so sure about this. I dont think that solar sails could be an efficient option, and I don't see how collisions with asteroids could boost Phobos up over time. A gravity tractor is also suggested, but what propels the gravity tractor? I'll assume that the tractor is propelled by chemical rockets, which rfc has rightly deemed unefficient. The only good attributes of a gravity tractor is that is does not make contact with the surface (Helpful with rubble piles such as Phobos) and it is not impeded by the rotation of the asteroid. T.Neo 15:14, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Merge Request

What do you guys think about merging this article and Phobos Photos with Phobos? With all of the content we could probably spiff it up to Feature quality. - Jarogers2001 23:03, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

The Phobos Photos article seems not to be an article, actually. I agree to merge it to Phobos. The Bringing down Phobos article is a different thing. It is a conceptual article about a special problem, which is better developed in a separate place. The two articles (Phobos and Bringing down Phobos) are linked well to each other, which allows reading them in conjunction. I think, each of the two articles can be developed further to gain Feature quality. -- Rfc 20:36, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


This is cool, I was just thinking about bringing Phobos down. I figured someone else would have thought of it before me, so I googled it. We need to bombard Mars as much as possible if we hope to terraform it. Adding some mass to it wouldn't hurt either. Find some comets in the Kuiper belt and possibly Jupiter's orbit and do the laser thing to them. I think we need something in front of them though if we hope to get them near Mars to block sunlight. I think those impacts will heat the core due to friction in the crust and the energy released on impact. Maybe it would be better to use a comet to change the trajectory of an astroid. The data from such impacts could be important. Not only that, with Russia contaminating the moon, it would be interesting to see if the micro organisms could survive such an impact.

There is some appeal to crashing things into Mars. It should be quite a show. Getting ammonia instead of carbon dioxide as a main constituent of the atmosphere would avoid having the atmosphere settle out of the lakes as carbonate minerals. I do not know what other problems might arise from importing an ammonia atmosphere. Anyway people must develop industry first if they want to do such things. The way to develop industry is to find something profitable to do. --Farred 01:59, 30 October 2010 (UTC)