Picking up from Page Two: Note to self. I want to incorporate this into the story: NASA has been studying the atmosphere of Mars, and believes that at one point, its atmosphere was able to sustain life. We should take that as a lesson learned for our own earth.
The story continues. The AUTHORITY needed to spend five to ten years developing the artificial atmosphere, similar in the way that previous experiments developed artificial atmosphere similar to earth’s so that they could create it on Mars. They kept the artificial earth atmosphere on Mars by a force field that kept the artificial atmosphere in place, down on the surface, and then put a dome on top of it to keep gasses from getting out — or — coming in. Ultimately, the goal is to develop enough atmosphere so that the earth-like atmosphere completely covers Mars, and domes are no longer necessary.
Concurrently, however, the AUTHORITY is also trying to develop life, both plant and animal, that can live on Mars’ hostile environment as it is. Therefore, even though the intention is to ultimately get rid of the domes, it will take a while, and they want to develop life that can live outside the domes on Mars until their goal is reached.
This is why the AUTHORITY believes they only have about five years left to develop an artificial atmosphere. They are doing this because they believe they will eventually have to move to Mars. They are giving up on Earth. They are trying to get certain individuals acclimated to the atmosphere on Mars, so as soon as they get there, their chances are better for survival.
Once the population is acclimated to the Martian environment, that’s when the spaceships come in to play.
Since they are talking about taking whole populations of people, the spaceships are huge, about three football fields long, and aren’t just built for transport, they’re built to actually live on for years. No one really knows how long it would take to get to Mars with a shipload heavy with people.
This is some of the background I’m researching on the story.