We are going to Bomb the Poles of Mars to create an Atmosphere, says Elon Musk

We are going to Bomb the Poles of Mars to create an Atmosphere, says Elon Musk

Elon Musk wants to create two blinking suns in the Martian sky to warm the planet and melt the dry ice to release Carbon Dioxide.

The passion of Elon Musk to populate the red planet with humans is immense and he has talked about it openly to the public. One of the occasions which prove that is his interview with Stephen Colbert in September 2015. He was asked how they will make the atmosphere of Mars suitable for human existence. He replied that there are two ways to terraform Mars. The faster of the two is to use nukes on the icy poles of the planet. Alternatively, greenhouse gases should be released which will then absorb the heat to thicken the atmosphere of Mars. The first option might seem crazy in the first instance but it has some scientific logic to back it up.

A massive amount of heat will be released as a result of the bombing. This will melt the dry ice present on the poles of the planet. A lot of Carbon Dioxide will be emitted during this process which will not only thicken the atmosphere but it will also start the greenhouse effect on the red planet. We might reach a stage where the atmosphere of Mars becomes so thick that water can exist in a liquid state on the surface of the red planet. Despite all the speculation, dropping thermonuclear bombs have some complications attached to it.

The most important one of them is the impact of radiations on the planet. Scientists do believe that most of the radiations will escape from the planet as its atmosphere doesn’t have the capacity to absorb them. However, they are uncertain about the effects it will have on the planet and the time needed for all the radiations to disperse.

The number of nuclear bombs needed to achieve the desired results was another interesting topic of discussion as a single bomb will melt only a small percentage of the ice. In order to release necessary amount of Carbon Dioxide, a large number of nuclear explosions are needed. More bombs mean more radiations which could increase the harmful effects exponentially. Another problem with this plan was that neither America nor Russia will spend their defensive arsenal to populate a planet as far as Mars.

The idea of dropping a thermonuclear weapon was taken negatively by quite a few who criticized him for proposing something like that. Following all the reaction, he clarified his comments a few weeks later. He explained that he has no intentions of bombing the surface of the planet but he wants to launch two huge fusion bombs into the sky above Mars which will explode every two seconds to provide the necessary warmth to support life on the red planet. He declared that the idea is to create two tiny pulsing suns over the poles. He talked about it in an event for Solar City in New York and said,

What I was talking about was having a series of very large, by our standards, but very small by calamity standards, essentially having two tiny pulsing suns over the poles. They’re really above the planet. Not on the planet.”

He believes that Sun is a large fusion explosion and we will need to replicate its working mechanism in the Martian sky to warm it up. He also acknowledged that a lot of people don’t agree with his point of view that sun is a fusion explosion. About it he said,

A lot of people don’t appreciate that our Sun is a large fusion explosion.”

These blinking suns will heat up the planet to vaporize the dry ice into Carbon Dioxide gas. The greenhouse abilities of this gas will prove extremely useful to store the heat on the red planet. After listening to his plans, he was enquired about the difficulty of this mission and his reply led to a nervous laughter of the crowd. He said,

Yeah, absolutely, no problem.

Currently, Mars has hostile conditions for humans and we cannot survive there. The two major reasons for this are extremely cold temperature and incredibly thin atmosphere but the proposition of Musk can potentially solve both these issues. It is an exceedingly difficult task but given his reputation, he can deliver when all the odds are against him.

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel

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6 Replies to “We are going to Bomb the Poles of Mars to create an Atmosphere, says Elon Musk”

  1. How does he plan to keep the new atmosphere from boiling off as the original atmosphere supposedly did?

  2. This will fail in disaster. The reason Mars doesn’t have an atmosphere is because it doesn’t have a magnetosphere. In order to regain or make a magnetosphere you must reignite the molten interior of the planet to allow it’s inner iron core to spin freely. Until you do this any atmosphere you try to introduce on Mars will be ripped away by the solar winds and solar radiation. Magnetospheres are needed to protect a planet’s atmosphere by blocking solar radiation and locking the energy in plasma auroras at the poles. Earth has a strong magnetosphere because we have an inner core spinning freely in a molten outer core and plastic mantle interior of our planet. I’m talking simple geological science here, nothing requiring a higher degree for. At most Elon Musk will vaporize the remaining gasses into space to be lost forever in the solar winds, and that would be the exact opposite of what he is trying to accomplish.

  3. The atmosphere would be boiled off. But not in a time frame we would need to worry about. Human civilization less than 10000 years old, an earth like atmosphere would boil off in a matter of millions of years. Either the atmosphere could be renewed occasionally, or over time we. Could give the planet a fake magneto sphere.

    This is really not a Niue deal.

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