Elon Musk Clarifies His Suggestion To Terraform Mars By Nuking It

He doesn't want to bomb Mars. He just wants to bomb the sky above Mars. Frequently.
Nuclear weapons test, 1952
Albert Einstein and fellow physicist Leo Szilard wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, fearing Hitler was developing an atomic bomb and urging Roosevelt to create one first. In response, Roosevelt started "The Manhattan Project", the code-name for the development of the nuclear weapon, which was first tested on July 16, 1945 in New Mexico. U.S. Department of Energy

Surviving on Mars is hard, as we’ve learned in The Martian and pretty much every other sci-fi movie that takes place on Mars. One way to make the Red Planet more livable is to make it more like home–by firing off nuclear warheads there. Or at least that’s what SpaceX CEO Elon Musk seemed to suggest when he went on Stephen Colbert’s show last month.

Well, today, during an event about solar panels (designed by a different Musk-run company), the billionaire supervillain clarified his idea to terraform Mars. He doesn’t want to bomb Mars. He just wants to bomb the sky above Mars every few seconds. Mashable reports:

Is that what all the solar panels are for, Elon Musk?

Musk says that the two “tiny suns,” formed by fusion bombs, would warm up Mars’ frozen carbon dioxide so that it turns into gas that could help capture heat, creating a greenhouse effect on Mars.

How long that newly minted atmosphere would survive is anyone’s guess. Mars’ low gravity means it has a hard time holding onto the thin atmosphere that it already has. Plus, because Mars doesn’t have a protective magnetosphere, charged particles from the sun are constantly breaking down its atmosphere. Sounds like we’re gonna need some more bombs.

[Via Mashable]