Elon Musk may be mistaken by some as desiring to declare an interplanetary war on Mars, but his idea to “terraform” it may actually prove to be a viable way to find a second home for humans someday.
“It’s a fixer-upper of a planet,” Musk told Colbert. “Eventually you could transform Mars into an Earth-like planet.”
Many smart people have the idea to make Mars habitable for future generations, a plan to “save” mankind from environmental disaster or an exploding sun. No matter what the future scenario, they believe that Earth will inevitably become uninhabitable, according to MSNBC.
At the same time, Musk’s specific plan to nuke Mars draws concern.
Currently, Mars gives off a very dry, dead feeling. But the truth is that its polar ice caps hold equal parts of both water and carbon dioxide.
The plan is for nuclear weapons to vaporize them in turn releasing the materials out into the atmosphere. When thick enough the greenhouse effect would then kick in and the energy from the sun absorbed by the planet and released as infrared radiation, would be confined.
This would supply the planet with heat releasing even more carbon dioxide that would ignite a chain reaction causing the surface pressure of Mars to increase allowing liquid water to exist. This would ultimately made the planet even more habitable for oxygen-producing plants.
“You could start turning Mars from a red planet into a green planet,” Michael Shara, curator of the American Museum of Natural History’s astrophysics department, said.
Share offered alternatives to nuclear weapons to help melt the polar caps of Mars. He suggested finding a way to guide asteroids to the planet or covering the poles in a fine, black dust in order to soak up sunlight to heat them up.
So far, all of the ideas involve somehow transporting massive equipment to Mars not to mention expensive ideas. So Musk might not be too far off with the plan to pack the planet with nukes which would be compact and immensely powerful.
The one big pressure holding the idea back is that it doesn’t quite follow along the lines of a good public relations move. But Share added that in all reality, it could be a good effort designed with care to cause the least amount of fallout possible.