On Wednesday night, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and announced that the speediest way to terraform Mars and allow humans to live outside of an airlock dome would be to nuke it.

“The fast way is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles,” Musk told Colbert, prompting the host to call him a super villain. But is the idea that crazy?

The basis of the bomb plot is that the nukes would melt the frozen CO2 on the Red Planet’s poles, releasing it as gas into the atmosphere. This would help to thicken up the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere, which could be enough to heat the planet and allow water to exist in a liquid form.

Essentially, the bombs would kick-start something similar to the global warming that’s happening here on Earth, and hopefully trigger a cascade effect – so the more ice that melts, the more CO2 that’s released, which warms the planet and melts more ice, and so on.

However, there are some obvious downsides to this plot. Not least of all the fact that those bombs would also release a whole lot of radiation that may or may not contaminate the Red Planet. 

The bigger problem is the fact that they simply wouldn’t make that much of a difference, Samantha Masunaga reports for The LA Times.

“It seems possible to make it Earthlike, but there’s a lot of barriers to overcome,” said Brian Toon from the University of Colorado, Boulder. “Blowing up bombs is not a good one.”

Toon also explained that the amount of CO2 already present in Mars’s atmosphere is already incredibly high, and while adding to it may make the planet plant-friendly, the atmosphere wouldn’t be suitable for animals anyway.

NASA didn’t even dignify the suggestion with a proper answer, simply stating: “We are also committed to promoting exploration of the Solar System in a way that protects explored environments as they exist in their natural state.”

But in good news, Musk also used the interview to announce that SpaceX would be sending humans into space in the next two or three years, and there’s a good change they’ll be riding there in this beauty. Let’s file that one under transportation goals.

You can watch the first part of Musk’s interview with Colbert here:

Source www.sciencealert.com

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38 Comments

Cheryl Ankers · April 11, 2017 at 11:07 am

he is nuts

Gary Holveck · April 9, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Give ’em enough attention and he’ll show how much of a nut he really is. Pleeese folks…. He’s a visionary with money$$, not a genius. Cartoonists and food purveyors are visionaries too!

Frederick William Rumming · April 9, 2017 at 6:10 am

Earth Was designed for human being Intellagence.And the rest of the human Package.Only A Fool would not want to make Earth Work as Home.

Steve Skinner · April 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

Let’s not.

Caoc Ochoa · April 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Funny!!

Norton Hardin Jr. · April 8, 2017 at 3:51 pm

I saw me the movie Life im not going there unless we nuke it first anyway

Tod Beard · April 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

He might be on to something if he ca vaporize the poles and get water into the atmosphere

Yorel Anad Smith Jr. · April 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm

There already there DUMBASS!
And you ain’t nuking SHIT. …
Your and others like you time is up. …

Thierry Bisson · April 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Crazy man. I’m convinced that we can live easyly on Mars. If he said that he is mad. He wants to destroy this planet with nuclear weapons.

Dan Saunders · April 8, 2017 at 10:36 am

Money makes you mad

Louis Møller · April 8, 2017 at 10:15 am

Nuke mars? fuck off

Alexandru Mihail Marian · April 8, 2017 at 9:38 am

That Elon has itching in the ass…

Adrian Vanheems · April 8, 2017 at 8:52 am

No oxygen, no water, so no life on Mars AT ALL! Thermonuclear terraforming could make it habitable in a hundred years or so.

Fausto Palermo · April 8, 2017 at 5:25 am

With Ryanair bombing with crap out of passanger

Jack Blalock · April 8, 2017 at 4:58 am

Right now Mars is perhaps the most pristine ‘natural park’ imaginable – untouched by all but the slightest human interaction (unmanned probes) and existing as potentially the most culturally and scientifically important resource imaginable in the entire history of human exploration. I literally cringe whenever I read of its ‘colonization’. The last major discovery on earth was spared this fate when all of Antarctica was deemed ‘protected’ by the 1961 Antarctic Treaty System. Surely the entire Martian planetary system deserves equal respect and international legal protection.

    Sizwe Masilela · April 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

    He is south African he is sending white south Africans !!!!!!

Brett Johnson · April 8, 2017 at 4:18 am

I doubt it

Simon Jackson · April 7, 2017 at 11:13 pm

THEY might not like it. Why not just put a new magnetic field on it? The surface o2 field option is a bit beyond or present science.

    Daimon Hart-hanson · April 8, 2017 at 12:34 am

    well we differently will need to take ozone generators with us ….. and adding moons lickly will create a sizable magnetic field …….. i think the two moons there are doing a small amount of that !!! ….. i think mars might have never been a proper planet as it lickly used to be a moon !!! ok ! … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1syd0tSnrY

Ray Belahi · April 7, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Why nuke Mars? Seems like Elon Musk needs better ways to waste his fortune. I can give him names of charitable organizations for children, the sick and the elderly!
By the way, Mars does have life-form species living in underground cities.

Samuel Martyn Grayim Barriball · April 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm

btw, did you guys steal that thumbnail from ETC?

Mick Parker · April 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Radio active fallout. It’s already there.

Daimon Hart-hanson · April 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm

as mars likely already has to higher concentration of radiation ,,,,,,, this in no way a option …… however if we got ways of warming the poles over time ….. it would have to make mars more inhabitable !!! ……. nuclear powered heat generators may be ,,,,, or darkening sufice of the co2 snow there !!! ,,,, might work theoretically !! ……. other possibility’s could be create an artificial moon ( my favored ) !!!! ,,,, of dig into the surface for habitational spaces !!!

Bolinsky Gary Jr. · April 7, 2017 at 7:45 pm

I believe it is possible to make it habitable again. However this is not the way to do it. 2 words. Radioactive fallout…

    Seren Thomas · April 8, 2017 at 12:56 am

    It would take a few years but I gather Mars is pretty harsh on the radioactive front as it has very little protection from its thin atmosphere… no ozone layer.

    Bolinsky Gary Jr. · April 8, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Seren Thomas just a theory. perhaps triggering massive volcanic eruptions would re-terraform it.

Andrew Harper · April 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm

one way trip u wud be fked if you never liked it

Wesley Sniper · April 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I’d buy a ticket to Mars I think if I had the money. But what would be the currency on Mars cuz u ain’t gonna help get the planet habitable for fuck all and who would be the ruler of mars Elon musk lool

Andreea Madalina Stefan · April 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm

lets nuke mars! good idea.you know theres life there? wanna kill everyone and take their place? meanwhile hes downloading consciousness in robots…what are you really doing and WHY?

    Samuel Martyn Grayim Barriball · April 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    not exactly what the plan is. Using a nucleur reaction to melt the polar ice to create an atmosphere isn’t the same as what happened to hiroshima.

Jaywho Mcdon · April 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Wow first earth now mars smh wow these things here just destroy everything killing is all they know. Lol

David Viljoen · April 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm

As long as you don’t create another sun, then sunblock won’t help any longer

Russell Smith · April 7, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Let’s do it just for fun

    Russell Smith · April 7, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Carl Thomas one of my favorite sci-fi movies 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Theodore Lutjen · April 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm

I say go for it. But it’s got to be a bigginz. We get to see?

Timur Tonguç · April 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

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