Nuke Mars? Not possible, says NASA about Elon Musk’s plan to make it our new home
Think Mars. Think Elon Musk. The maverick founder of Space X has made no bones about his plans to colonise Mars in the next 20 years.
Space X has been reportedly manufacturing heavy duty rockets that could put humans on the red planet. However, for life to thrive on Mars like it is on Earth, it is not only about transferring humans there. The question is how to make the red planet habitable like our blue one?
Let’s nuke the Mars
One of his recent ideas to do that was to nuke Mars. On Twitter, Elon tweeted, saying,
“Nuke Mars refers to a continuous stream of very low fallout nuclear fusion explosions above the atmosphere to create artificial suns. Much like our sun, this would not cause Mars to become radioactive.”
When a twiterrati asked if there is any risk, he promptly replied,
“Not risky imo & can be adjusted/improved real-time. Essentially need to figure out most effective way to convert mass to energy, as Mars is slightly too far from this solar system’s fusion reactor (the sun).”
Transforming Mars not possible, says NASA
While people have different thoughts, NASA on the other hand, isn’t sure of Elon’s plan of nuking Mars. The agency believes that transforming Mars isn’t possible using present-day technology.
According to a press release by NASA, the current Martian atmosphere itself consists mostly of carbon dioxide, it is far too thin and cold to support liquid water, an essential ingredient for life.
On Mars, the pressure of the atmosphere is less than one percent of the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere. Any liquid water on the surface would very quickly evaporate or freeze.
In a statement, Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado, Bo, said,
“Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) are the only greenhouse gases that are likely to be present on Mars in sufficient abundance to provide any significant greenhouse warming.”
But Elon went on to propose an alternate solution, which is using solar reflectors to warm the red planet.
He tweeted saying,
“Might make sense to have thousands of solar reflector satellites 🛰 to warm Mars vs artificial suns (tbd)
Whether or not he is successful in doing what he says he can, the fact remains that there's never a dull moment with Elon Musk. And in the future, if we can call Mars our home someday, guess who will be laughing all the way to the bank!
(Edited by Dipti Nair)