Seems like Elon Musk is on a Twitter roll, again!
After releasing merchandise supporting the cause of ‘Nuke Mars,’ the SpaceX CEO is considering if there can be better and more feasible alternatives to colonize Mars. Elon Musk is now swinging to the idea of placing a series of satellites in the orbit of Mars that will reflect the Sun’s warmth down onto the planet, instead of bombing it with nuclear fission explosives.
While nuking Mars is more fascinating, NASA is dubious about the plan. In 2018, the American space agency said Mars terraforming is not possible using the technology we have in the present. Besides, the intriguing science behind the concept of orbital Mars mirrors cannot be disregarded.
In 2006, NASA felicitated a University of Arizona undergraduate Rigel Woida, who studied “the use of large aperture, lightweight orbital mirrors for ‘terraforming’ an area of the martian surface so humans could affordably colonize the Red Planet.” Keeping in mind that Mars can get wickedly cold, the habitats built on the Red Planet and the space suits need to handle the extreme temperatures.
Musk did not point out Woida’s research, but his vision is similar to the reflector concept. He also took a moment to clarify what he means by ‘nuke Mars’ stressing on the fact that the blasts will create ‘artificial Suns’ and would not cause Mars to become radioactive.
Woida’s idea of space mirrors is affordable and may create a Martian ‘pocket Eden’ one day, as the concept only involves some engineering requirements to heat up a small portion of Mars, something that is completely attainable. Given the fact that Musk’s SpaceX is getting plenty of practice with the Starlink fleet, he can turn some of the resources to develop Mars mirrors.
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