By Gage Simpson
Owner of New Frontier News
Sunday, August 17, 2019
(NEW FRONTIER NEWS) – Elon Musk still has dreams to nuke Mars. The billionaire founder of Telsa and SpaceX showed off a design for a t-shirt on Twitter which has caused a flurry of both support and opposition to the idea of nuking the red planet.
Musk originally spoke of the idea of nuking Mars during a 2015 interview on the Stephen Colbert show.
Musk’s plan is to nuke the Martian polar ice caps to release both water and CO2 trapped in the ice in a hope that it would raise the global temperature to a more moderate level.
This plan, however, has been called into question on both scientific and ethical grounds.
One of the major arguments against nuking mars is that the amount of carbon dioxide in the icecaps is just not enough to sufficiently warm the planet, whose atmospheric volume is only 1% of earth’s atmosphere.
There is also concern that even if the carbon dioxide is freed that it will just escape into space due to the solar winds that are slowly stripping away Mars’ already very thin atmosphere due to its lack of a magnetosphere.
There is also the problem that any water freed would share a similar fate to carbon dioxide. It would eventually evaporate due to the low atmospheric pressure and eventually escape into space.
Musk has tried to counter scientists, who claims there isn’t enough carbon dioxide in the ice caps, by claiming that Mars’ soil has collected large amounts of carbon dioxide.
Scientist countered this by saying that for all the carbon dioxide to be released from the soil on Mars that the entire planet and everything 100 meters below the surface would have to be heated which could take up to 10,000 years at current technology levels.
There is also the ethical side of terraforming Mars. Scientists and space exploration advocates worry about terraforming enterprises: Do we have the right to change a world, one that could potentially have life, for human colonization.
Even as it currently stands. Colonization of Mars is still decades off with the first manned landing happening in the late 2030s. New terraforming techniques and discoveries on Mars may help make Mars more worth changing to our needs.
SpaceX must also remain solvent. While the company is worth 33 billion dollars, it still had to lay off 10% of its workforce in 2018.
Fernholz, Tim (August 2019). NASA says nobody—not even Elon Musk—can terraform Mars. Quartz. The United States. https://qz.com/1345912/nasa-says-nobody-not-even-elon-musk-can-terraform-mars/
Papadopoulos, Loukia. (August 2019). Elon Musk Wants to Drop Nuclear Bombs on Mars to Prep it for Humans. Interesting Engineering. Turkey. https://interestingengineering.com/elon-musk-wants-to-drop-nuclear-bombs-on-mars-to-prep-it-for-humans
Wall, Mike. (August 2019). Elon Musk Floats ‘Nuke Mars’ Idea Again (He Has T-Shirts). Space.com. The United States. https://www.space.com/elon-musk-nuke-mars-terraforming.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=dlvr.it