Martyn J. Fogg

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Martyn J. Fogg (born 3 July 1960) is a widely acknowledged expert on terraforming.[citation needed]


After becoming a dental surgeon, Fogg earned a degree in physics and geology and a master's degree in astrophysics, and is working on a Ph.D. in planetary science. Fogg lives in London.

Contributions to Planetary Engineering[edit]

Beginning in 1985, Fogg published several articles on terraforming.[1] Since then, he has published over two dozen technical articles on terraforming in peer-reviewed journals, including Icarus, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Comments on Astrophysics, and Advances in Space Research.

He also served as editor for a full issue on terraforming for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society in 1991, and in 1995 published the first technical book on terraforming titled Terraforming: Engineering Planetary Environments.[2] Fogg also maintains a website called the Terraforming Information Pages.[3]

Fogg's research has included computer simulation modeling and theoretical work on subjects including planetary formation, stellar habitable zones, terraforming Venus and Mars, prolonging the stable lifetime of stars, transferring planets from one solar system to another while minimizing the impact to the planet's climate, converting gas giants into stars, potential interaction between intelligent civilizations, availability and utilization of geothermal energy on Mars, and a wide variety of particular terraforming techniques and strategies.[citation needed]

Fogg used the following definitions for different aspects related to terraforming:

  • Planetary Engineering: the application of technology for the purpose of influencing the global properties of a planet.
  • Geoengineering: planetary engineering applied specifically to the Earth. It includes only those macroengineering concepts that deal with the alteration of some global parameter, such as the greenhouse effect, atmospheric composition, insolation or impact flux.
  • Terraforming: a process of planetary engineering, specifically directed at enhancing the capacity of an extraterrestrial planetary environment to support life. The ultimate in terraforming would be to create an uncontained planetary biosphere emulating all the functions of the biosphere of the Earth, one that would be fully habitable for human beings.
  • Astrophysical Engineering: taken to represent proposed activities, relating to future habitation, that are envisaged to occur on a scale greater than that of "conventional" planetary engineering.

Fogg also devised definitions for candidate planets of varying degrees of human compatibility:[4]

  • Habitable Planet (HP): A world with an environment sufficiently similar to the Earth as to allow comfortable and free human habitation.
  • Biocompatible Planet (BP): A planet possessing the necessary physical parameters for life to flourish on its surface. If initially lifeless, then such a world could host a biosphere of considerable complexity without the need for terraforming.
  • Easily Terraformable Planet (ETP): A planet that might be rendered biocompatible, or possibly habitable, and maintained so by modest planetary engineering techniques and with the limited resources of a starship or robot precursor mission.

Fogg designates Mars as having been a biocompatible planet in its youth, but not being in any of these three categories in its present state, since it could only be terraformed with relatively greater difficulty. He considers Venus never to have been an easily terraformable planet.

Fogg is commonly referenced in contemporary articles on terraforming.


  1. ^ Extra-Solar Planetary Systems: A Microcomputer Simulation," Martyn J. Fogg, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 38, 501-514 (1985)
  2. ^ Fogg, Martyn J. (1995). Terraforming: Engineering Planetary Environments. SAE International, Warrendale, PA. ISBN 1-56091-609-5. 
  3. ^ The Terraforming Information Pages
  4. ^ Martyn J. Fogg, editor, Terraforming (special issue), Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, April 1991

External links[edit]

Sample Technical Articles[edit]