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Musk will need 10,000 nukes to terraform Mars

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Orphalesion

I'm now wondering whether he plans to send his newborn child to mars in a little rocket, Superman style.

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Waspie_Dwarf

My two major objections to the plan do not hinge on whether it is practical or not.

My first objection is conditional and ethical. What if we find life on Mars? I already have problems with Musk's plans to send thousands, and eventually millions, of people to Mars before we have thoroughly researched whether it is, or ever was, a living planet. If there is simple, microbial life on Mars then Musk's colonisation plans will potentially doom it. Nuking the planet to change it's climate will most certainly finish the job.

Just because Musk is a billionaire it gives him no rights to play god with another planet. The decision to colonise Mars must not be taken by an individual, nor even by an individual government. It must be made by humanity as a whole and on the basis of scientific evidence.

My second objection is far simpler. I do not think that it reasonable to allow a private individual or company access to a single nuclear weapon, never mind thousands of them. Musk will either need to manufacture his own nukes, or purchase them. If the U.S. Government were to manufacture tens of thousands of extra nuclear weapons it would have massive diplomatic implications with the other nuclear powers. Russia and China are not exactly going to be happy. The alternative, allowing private companies to manufacture nukes is even more terrifying. One man in charge of a nuclear arsenal bigger than that of the superpowers is asking for trouble. Even if he has no nefarious intent the repercussions of just one nuke falling into the wrong hands is horrifying.

My objection to this are not anti-Elon Musk as such. I applaud what SpaceX and Tesla are achieving. I don't even have a massive issue with the idea of terraforming Mars, as long as it is barren, but the future of mankind needs to be decided by people that are accountable to the public.

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Piney
16 minutes ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

My first objection is conditional and ethical. What if we find life on Mars? I already have problems with Musk's plans to send thousands, and eventually millions, of people to Mars before we have thoroughly researched whether it is, or ever was, a living planet. If there is simple, microbial life on Mars then Musk's colonisation plans will potentially doom it. Nuking the planet to change it's climate will most certainly finish the job.

That's my thoughts! The American Columbian Exchange all over again. 

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Piney
1 hour ago, Orphalesion said:

I'm now wondering whether he plans to send his newborn child to mars in a little rocket, Superman style.

He's just loopy enough. :unsure2:

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quiXilver

Whatever Elon's been smokin'...

 

 

                                                                                                            I'm avoidin'...

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Waspie_Dwarf
14 minutes ago, Piney said:

He's just loopy enough. :unsure2:

It's only loopy if you aren't rich. If you are rich it's "eccentric".

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Waspie_Dwarf
Just now, quiXilver said:

Whatever Elon's been smokin'...

 

 

                                                                                                            I'm avoidin'...

Whatever Elon has been smokin' has made him a multi-billionaire.

His plans aren't loopy, they may just work. The question is whether he should be allowed to try.

 

Quote

Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

- Jeff Goldblum's character, Dr. Ian  in Jurassic Park

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quiXilver
Just now, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Whatever Elon has been smokin' has made him a multi-billionaire.

His plans aren't loopy, they may just work. The question is whether he should be allowed to try.

*sings* whatever gets you through the night....

            it's alright....

            alright...

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jbondo

IMO, it's feasible without the massive fallout. If they had the warheads detonate prior to hitting the ground. the chances of poisoning the planet go way down. Remember, in Japan there are people living in the bombed locations today. Mainly because the detonations were done in the air. Now, I said feasible, however, 10,000 would be quite an undertaking, unless Musk has a secret warhead design that is as powerful as several thousand devices together. In that case, I'd have to backtrack on my first observation because I have no idea if such a powerful warhead would have long lasting effects of radiation.

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bison

I hope and trust that Elon Musk doesn't have 10,000 'nukes', nor is likely to get them!

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DarkHunter

I guess the problems of Mars not having a sufficiently strong magnetic field to keep the atmosphere from largely being blown away from solar winds along with issues that the composition of any atmosphere on Mars is being ignored.  

The surface pressure of the Martian atmosphere is less then 1% of earths and around 95% of what little atmosphere Mars does have is CO2.  Given that about 79% of earth's atmosphere is N2 with about 20% being oxygen with a pressure over 100 times greater that is a bit of a problem.

Even if the nuclear warheads could heat up the atmosphere enough along with somehow evaporating enough frozen CO2 to get the atmospheric pressure even close enough to be habitable, which even with 10,000 nukes is almost certainly impossible, it would still have the wrong gasses.

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Waspie_Dwarf
37 minutes ago, DarkHunter said:

I guess the problems of Mars not having a sufficiently strong magnetic field to keep the atmosphere from largely being blown away from solar winds along with issues that the composition of any atmosphere on Mars is being ignored.  

The process of stripping away an atmosphere is a slow one. If a planet, such as Mars, could have a thick atmosphere generated in a matter of decades or even centuries it would take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years for the solar wind to remove it all.

The lack of a magnetic field in protecting the atmosphere is not being ignored, it just isn't particularly relevant. 

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Seti42

Musk is a douche...And possibly an idiot.

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Tatetopa

Being on Mars with a couple of thousand people, 20% of which believe contamination protocols are a hoax and an imposition on their freedom might not go all that well.

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DarkHunter
9 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

The process of stripping away an atmosphere is a slow one. If a planet, such as Mars, could have a thick atmosphere generated in a matter of decades or even centuries it would take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years for the solar wind to remove it all.

The lack of a magnetic field in protecting the atmosphere is not being ignored, it just isn't particularly relevant. 

There is no known viable way to generate a thick enough atmosphere within decades or centuries.

To put it into perspective the mass of earths atmosphere is approximately 5.1×10^18 kg.  Mars depending on if you want to go by mass or volume is about 11% to 15% the size of Earth.  If you assume you would only need approximately 11% to 15% of Earth's atmosphere on mars given that Mars atmosphere has a mass of approximately 2.5×10^16 kg you would still need to increase the atmosphere on mars by 53.6×10^16 kg and 74×10^16 kg.  To put it another way you would need to increase the total atmosphere of Mars by a factor of approximately 20 to 30 times it's current levels.  

Since we wont be able to get this needed atmosphere from mars itself it will need to be brought in from somewhere.  Since the heaviest object ever launched into space from earth weighed 77,000 kg we would only need to do about 7 trillion to 9.5 trillion launches from earth if we took our atmosphere from here assuming the largest load we ever put into space is just the mass of what we would be delivering to Mars. Ultimately to get a suitable atmosphere on Mars would take hundreds of thousands to more likely millions of years to produce assuming no losses.

As for how quickly it would take Mars to lose its atmosphere it is still problematic.  Given that current rates of Mars losing its atmosphere is about 0.1 kg every second and 150 to 300 day travel time between Earth and Mars, Mars would lose between 1,296,000 kg and 2,592,000 kg of atmosphere during that travel time.  Just to stop the current loss of Mars atmosphere would require daily launches from Earth of the largest space crafts we could possibly design.  Could try going between Mars and the asteroid belt, assuming you find the right elements there but the distance between Earth and Mars and Mars and the asteroid belt are about the same.

The magnetic field is only the start of the problems with terraforming Mars, there is the water problem, force of gravity problem, transporting a biosystems and countless other problems.  

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Essan

Someone just needs to tell our cheap wannabe Tony Stark that Total Recall was not a documentary ;)  

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Aardvark-DK
Posted (edited)

That comes from a man, who will call his new son : X AE A-XII  ????

Edited by Aardvark-DK

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Jarocal
On 5/19/2020 at 1:01 PM, Piney said:

That's my thoughts! The American Columbian Exchange all over again. 

If it is a one way emigration to Mars no exchange occurs. well at least not where I live...

I would be content for the settlers to simply transmit back the data on what they find.

Of course if any of the transmissions mention "Protomolecule" maybe we should let Musk have his 10,000 nukes.:gun:

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Piney
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Jarocal said:

If it is a one way emigration to Mars no exchange occurs. well at least not where I live...

How many of you Morlocks plan on leaving your caves and moving to Mars with no Eloi co-eds living there?

5 minutes ago, Jarocal said:

I would be content for the settlers to simply transmit back the data on what they find.

I'm saying the settlers bring something with them that wipes out the indigenous buggies. Sorta 'Martian Chronicles' but on a microscopic scale. 

Edited by Piney
Where's the red paint?

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Jarocal
4 minutes ago, Piney said:

How many of you Morlocks plan on leaving your caves and moving to Mars with no Eloi co-eds living there?

I'm saying the settlers bring something with them that wipes out the indigenous buggies. Sorta 'Martian Chronicles' but on a microscopic scale. 

Not this one, he is perfectly content with his current cave.

Would not be the first time human exploration has had a detrimental effect on previously uncontacted ecosystems. But we still have not quite yet managed to wipe out all of the indigenous inhabitants of them in the last half millennia. Some of those indigenous organisms have even expanded their sway globally (maize, tomatoes, tequila).

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Piney
1 hour ago, Jarocal said:

Some of those indigenous organisms have even expanded their sway globally (maize, tomatoes, tequila).

Tobacco, peyote, cocaine. :devil:

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micahc
Posted (edited)

Mars is flat.

Edited by micahc
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third_eye
57 minutes ago, micahc said:

Mars is flat.

Oblong actually... with a soft nougat and a great tasting caramel centre...

~

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