enter image description here From this graph it can be seen that Water Vapour can never be held by the Martian gravity, and would escape into space.

How would future terraforming processes overcome this loss?

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    $\begingroup$ Time. You don't need to terraform Mars for billions of years. A couple of millions would be enough. I also think doing terraforming planetwide instead of locally is not something that will ever happen - this would keep the problem under control. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 7 '17 at 6:40
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    $\begingroup$ Mars cannot hold water vapour (and atmosphere in general) over geological timespans. Given that the entire history from the first city-states in Sumer to the rockets of SpaceX spans less than 8000 years we are not very much concerned with what happens over geological timespans. Mars can hold atmosphere and water vapor well enough over timespans measured in mere millennia. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 7 '17 at 7:07

We've discussed this before with respect to the moon, which is even smaller.

Hanging on to an atmosphere for thousands of years is just fine for human activities. As it leaks away, the residents will replace it.

Jim2B can tell you how long it would last on Mars if such replenishment stopped. But, with all the infrastructure in place to put the air there in the first place, it makes sense to just plan on leaving in on at a slow drip to keep the air at the desired level.

All see this post which references another post from Physics.se.


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