Drop Nuclear Bombs On Mars, Make It Earth-Like: Elon Musk

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After announcing his plans to put a million people on Mars by 2100 to save humanity from extinction, the Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk now wants to terraform the Red Planet by dropping thermonuclear bombs on the ice at its poles.

On The Late Show, when host Stephen Colbert asked Musk why do we want to go to Mars when it is inhabitable and asked him to explain how he is going to make Mars livable, the tech billionaire said, “[Mars] is a fixer-upper of a planet, so first you’re going to have to live in transparent domes, but eventually you can transform Mars into an Earth-like planet. You’d warm it up. There’s the fast way and there’s the slow way. The fast way is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles. The slow way is to use greenhouse gases. “

This prompted Colbert to label Musk a “supervillain”. But is Musk’s plan crazy?

Dropping thermonuclear bombs would release huge amounts of radiation, melt and release considerable amounts of CO2, and eventually thicken the Martian atmosphere. If it becomes thick enough, it might be possible for water to then exist as a liquid on the surface.

Is the idea feasible?

“He has a point. If we wanted to terraform Mars quickly, the way to do it would be to evaporate those ice packs, but I don’t think we can turn enough ice into gas using nuclear weapons. It would take 10 centuries. The biggest nuclear weapon ever made is the Tsar Bomba which had a yield of 25 megatons of TNT, and that would still not be enough. You’d need a lot of nuclear weapons [almost the entire nuclear arsenal of the US and Russia]. They cause radiation and it’s not just the immediate effects of that radiation. It’s embedded into the target materials, which generate lots of nasty isotopes which are really quite harmful to human beings,” Dr Matthew Genge a planetary scientist at Imperial College told IBTimes UK.

“It seems possible to make it Earthlike, but there’s a lot of barriers to overcome. Blowing up bombs is not a good one,” University of Colorado atmospheric and ocean sciences professor Brian Toon told the Los Angeles Times.

Instead of warming Mars, the explosions could cause nuclear winter, wherein you generate so much dust and particles that they literally block out a significant portion of the incoming sunlight, cooling down the planet,” Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, told US News.

Musk, who told Colbert that he expects to transport NASA astronauts to the space station in two years, didn’t address how he’d get the bombs from Earth to Mars.

His slow way to warm the planet is already causing global warming on Earth. While you could try to use CO2 to warm up the atmosphere, the amount already existing on Mars is poisonous, making the environment potentially plant-friendly, but not suitable for animals.


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11 COMMENTS

  1. So the Earth was not enough for Humanity to destroy, i want to tell this guy in person o go fuck off, we were enough burden to this world, let the human race die, but not the knowledge. Our race was not meant to explore the space, and it will never be. We will cause more harm than good.

    • You want to tell the guy who care about the environment more than 95% of the population, why do you think he’s making Tesla cars as well as many other things that help reduce our impact on the environment. Yes I do think it’s questionable what he’s saying about Mars. I’m guessing you hated the movie Interstellar because of plot

    • Your totally right! Mars was already earthlike a long time ago ,human race abused it then came on earth to corrupt ancient civilizations ,the lucifer experiment i guess.now they want to go back on mars …no sense at all .left brained government ?

    • I hate how people always see something and jump to conclusions. Elon Musk is NOT saying we should do this!!! He is saying that if we wanted to HEAT mars as fast as possible, not caring about anything else like cost, habitabilityof the planet after it is bombarded, or the fact that we would be launching hundreds of nuclear weapons into space, then this would be the way to go. did you even read his tweet they posted? “Btw, not saying we *should* nuke Mars — just layin’ out a few options …”. If you take some time to look into Elon Musk and his endeavors, you will see he is one of humanity’s best. He founded a site which became paypal (just about nobody at the time thought it was a good idea to take banking online), Tesla Motors, which he invested most of his fortune in because he thought it was so important that even though he estimated a 1 in 10 (or something around there) chance of success, he had to try,(an all electric car company which is currently making high ends mid volume cars, the idea being that to make a company like that successful you need to go high cost+low volume to mid cost+ mid volume eventually to low cost high volume) they are coming out in 2018 (will probably turn into 2019) with the model 3, which will be about $35,000 before federal ($7500 tax rebate) and state incentives (only available in a few states) and have over 200 mile range and probably supercharger access (hundreds of the fastest [170 miles in 30 mins for the current car, the model S] EV [electric vehicle] charging station all over the US EU and china [maybe a couple other places as well]). He invested the rest of his fortune (that he made when paypal was sold, as he was the largest shareholder) in SpaceX, a rocket company which he also thought would most-likely be a failure (at one point when both companies were near failure he spent every cent he had on the companies to give them both a chance at life to the point where he was borrowing rent money from his friends [spoiler alert, both companies are alive and well]). SpaceX was founded in 2002 and now has far outpaced all other american launch providers in terms of price and price per lb/kg (such as Boeing and ULA).”i want to tell this guy in person o go fuck off, ” people these days judge their situation way too quickly.

  2. What better way to make the next best planet impossible to live on than to destroy it in precisely the same way we may destroy our own? I couldn’t think of a more brilliant plan!

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