Mars has been a wandering star, a vengeful God, and latterly a storied world of shifting greenery, huge canals, carved faces, pyramids, aliens, and warrior princesses. Today, it is hard to see Mars through the haze of these cultural-historical associations. In the midst of this haze, it seems quite reasonable to talk about terraforming. If we can, should we not force Mars into an earth-like, humanly habitable state? Should we not seed its deserts with vegetation, flood the lowlands, thicken the atmosphere, make the air breathable?

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