One problem of Mars is that due to its low mass it cannot hold an atmosphere well. Therefore I now got the idea to start the terraforming process by increasing its mass to Earth mass, or at least close.
The idea is to send asteroids from the asteroid belt onto a collision course on Mars, and continue to do so until Mars is massive enough to hold an atmosphere. The asteroids would be sent to that trajectory by detonating well-placed nuclear or thermonuclear bombs on them.
My question is now: Could this strategy work? In particular:
- Are there actually enough asteroids in the asteroid belt to sufficiently increase Mars' mass?
- Would it be practically possible to send those asteroids to Mars using bombs?
- Would be be able to build sufficiently many bombs for this task?
You may assume that if we can build the bombs, we also can transport them to the asteroid belt, so space ships are no bottleneck. Also time plays no major role; lets say anything up to about 300 years is acceptable.