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The Nerdy Background

Some of you may wonder what the scientific background to Terraforming Mars might be. Well, here you go – a scientific article on a solution to the radiation problem associated with the lack of a strong magnetic field on Mars:

On the absorption of cosmic radiation by employment of fullerene-bound 2-(2,6-dihydroxophenyl)benzaldehyde

J. Jacob Fryxelius, Department of Materials Science, Mars Free University, Noctis City, Tharsis Republic.

Copyright Inventrix Publishing 2376. Unauthorized use will be prosecuted in Omnicourt, with a proposed sentence to the penal mines of Callisto.


By switching between several conformational and chemical modes, 2-(2,6-dihydroxophenyl)-benzaldehyde can absorb harmful radiation, especially cosmic radiation. Dispersion of fullerenes carrying adsorbed 2-(2,6-dihydroxophenyl)benzaldehyde in the Martian stratosphere and mesosphere should contribute considerably to the atmospheric protection from harmful radiation on Mars.

[For full article PDF, click here]

OK, that was nerdy. I can’t seem to shake my chemistry background. The article does describe a way to address the issue, though, and several cards in Terraforming Mars are hinted at in the article (Mars University, Tharsis Republic, Inventrix, Noctis City, Rad Suits, Magnetic Field Generators, Equatorial Magnetizer, and Gene Repair). Most notable, of course, is the Rad-Chem Factory, where these chemicals are produced.

Being an important tool for terraforming, this gives you terraform rating without affecting temperature, oxygen or ocean. Production being Mars-based, you can use steel to help pay for this project (the building tag top right). This is also a very nice way to get a couple of extra VPs late in the game.

And by the way, we recently posted 3 other cards on BoardGameGeek dealing with the radiation problem.