Elon Musk is talking about 'nuking Mars' again even though science still says it's a bad idea

Lowenna Waters
Friday 16 August 2019 15:00
Science and Tech
Picture:(Getty / Twitter )

On Thursday, Elon Musk simply tweeted "Nuke Mars", following it up a couple of hours later with the equally cryptic "T-shirt soon".

Although the tweet is in Musk's typically flippant, jokey style, the billionaire has reportedly long harboured the desire to fire nuclear weapons at the 'Red Planet' with the aim of terraforming it, or, in other words, making it inhabitable for human life, reports Business Insider.

In the tweet, he simply wrote:

Nuke Mars!

That was then followed up with:

T-shirt soon

In 2015, Musk appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he said Mars could be heated up by dropping thermonuclear weapons onto it, prompting Colbert to call him a 'supervillian'.

Musk aims to create two miniature 'suns' at each pole of Mars using nukes, then to vaporise the water trapped in Ice at Mars' poles, releasing C02, and engineering a greenhouse effect, reports Business Insider.

One of Musk's most vocal ambitions has always been to establish a human colony on Mars, but the science behind his method of nuking it isn't watertight, however, and in 2018 two researchers from the universities of Colorado and Northern Arizona concluded it wasn't possible with today's technology, reports Business Insider.

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The study, which was published in Nature Astronomy, identified two problems with the theory. The first was that there isn't enough C02 trapped on Mars to produce the desired effect, and the second is that particles from Mars' atmosphere are constantly being lost into outer space, so it's expected that the C02 would, too.

The billionaire's SpaceX is currently testing a prototype called StarHopper, an early version of the spacecraft called Spaceship Super Heavy, which could play a vital role in space exploration. In Nasa's 'environmental assessment', it wrote:

SpaceX has successfully demonstrated their ability to service the launch industry with the Falcon family of launch vehicles now developing a multi-mission, fully reusable, super heavy-lift launch vehicle.

The Starship/ Super Heavy launch vehicle would reduce the cost of access to space, exceeding the capabilities of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, enabling cost-effective delivery of cargo and people to the Moon and Mars.

 

HT Business Insider

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