The goal of terraforming Mars would be to warm up and potentially thicken its atmosphere by growing green, photosynthesizing plants, bacteria, and algae on the barren Martian surface.
The goal is to essentially pick and choose the best genes from whatever form of life we want and to edit them into other forms of life to create something entirely new. This will probably first happen in bacteria and other microorganisms, but it sounds as though the goal may to do this with more complex, multicellular organisms in the future.
Jackson said that after a natural or man-made disaster, it’d be possible to engineer new types of extremophile organisms capable of surviving in a scarred wasteland. As those organisms photosynthesized and thrived, it would naturally bring that environment back to health, she said. From there we could expand these abilities and begin terraforming other planets.