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Space & Astronomy

Elon Musk still wants to drop nukes on Mars

By T.K. Randall
August 17, 2019 · Comment icon 13 comments

Could nukes really transform Mars for the better ? Image Credit: US Department of Energy
The SpaceX CEO has long held the belief that nuking the Red Planet could make it more habitable for humans.
It might sound like something from the plot of the 1990 movie 'Total Recall', but transforming the atmosphere of Mars using nuclear bombs is an idea that has been floating around for years.

Musk argues that detonating nukes on Mars will melt the polar icecaps, releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and creating a runaway global warming effect.

This, in turn, would raise the temperature and air pressure, making the planet far more hospitable.
It is something that he has spoken about publicly before, including during a talk show segment with Stephen Colbert back in 2015 when he described Mars as a "fixer-upper of a planet."

Most recently on August 16th, Musk tweeted "Nuke Mars!" followed by "T-shirt soon."

Whether he will ever make good on the suggestion however remains to be seen.

You can view the Colbert interview below (the discussion on Mars starts around 2:00s).

Source: Science Alert | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Stiff 5 years ago
I'm OK with this as long as they strap Kanye West to it first.
Comment icon #5 Posted by SultryPine 5 years ago
We have all but destroyed the ecosystem on this planet due to our short sightedness and incredible greed. Let's fix this before we let loose on another rock!
Comment icon #6 Posted by AllPossible 5 years ago
Hey don't be stingy. They're plenty more that can join him
Comment icon #7 Posted by Stiff 5 years ago
Yep. I'm OK with that too.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Calibeliever 5 years ago
Not for nuthin', but do we really want this guy to have access to nuclear weapons, whatever his reasons?
Comment icon #9 Posted by fred_mc 5 years ago
I think there is not much point in doing this without first solving the issue with Mars' atmosphere disappearing into space due not having a magnetic field. Without solving that, it would seem to me that we are just dumping gases into space that could have been used better.
Comment icon #10 Posted by bison 5 years ago
Mars' atmosphere disappeared over a very, very long period of time, due to erosion by the solar wind.  I don't hold with terraforming Mars, as long as there is a reasonable chance of native life there, but suppose this question was resolved in the negative. Any added atmosphere established there, by whatever means, would hang about long enough to allow us to solve the erosion problem. An artificial magnetic field might be created. Humans are rather good at making electromagnets. Maybe  a network of electromagnet satellites in orbit all around the planet would work. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Crookshanks 5 years ago
I don't believe this at all. Any excuse to make a nuclear bomb right? Elon sounds too much like Enola to me.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Berwen 5 years ago
Hey Stiff, do you have room for Trump as well, that might save the earth as well. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by tmcom 5 years ago
Mars is very different to what mainstream keep bleating on about, and a 12 year old with a $100 telescope can prove it, but these days people don't think they follow.   Mars has a magnetic field, but it is more stronger in some areas than others, even NASA says that. Atmosphere disappeared, lol.

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