Terraforming projection

A thirty-year projection of terraforming Velara III

Terraforming was the process of modifying the environment of a planet or moon to make it habitable for life; Most humanoid life that engage in terraforming modify the world to meet criteria for class M planets.

Its converse is bioforming, which is the process of adapting a species biology and anatomy to the planet. (TAS: "The Ambergris Element")

If given resources were scarce or population miniscule; parts of a planetary surface could also be adapted to humanoid life merely by building artificial biospheres. (TNG: "The Masterpiece Society")


Terraforming begins with selecting a planet which has the right mass, gravity, rate of rotation, and balanced periods of day and night. Federation efforts at terraforming were coordinated by Terraform Command and ensured both that there is no life on the planet, and that it never will naturally occur.

Next, water must be made available for life in water basins. This could be done using hydraulic landscaping, sometimes with the additional step of filtering and re-oxygenating the subsurface water. If the water is hypersaline (incredibly high salt content) portions of it may be desalinated to meet terrestrial and agricultural needs. Then, microorganisms are introduced as the first constituents of the biosphere permitting it's atmosphere into self sustaining oxygen production. As the biosphere expands, higher order plants are introduced. One of the key metrics of the process being successful is monitoring the amount of vegetation on the planet.

Industrial replicators would allow for manufacture of large volumes of volatile compounds and elements critical for life (Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Ammonia, methane, etc). Terraformers accelerate the process of terraforming; by doing so it only would take around 30 years to build a habitable world. Given in nature it would take millions or billions of years; or not at all given the planet. (TNG: "Home Soil")



The universal atmospheric element compensator might also be a terraforming device.

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