It's only been a few days since SpaceX boss Elon Musk fired a tweet that reminded everyone that he wants to "nuclearize" Mars, but he has already offered a possible alternative to this wild proposal. In a tweet on Tuesday, Musk suggested sending thousands of solar reflectors to the Red Planet to warm the planet's surface, melt its ice reserves, and release CO2, which could help create a more robust Martian atmosphere.
Mars sooner rather than later, but what we will do when we get there remains to be seen. Dreaming to establish a colony on Mars may depend on our ability to make Mars a bit earthier, and that would mean upgrading the atmosphere.
Scientists believe that there is a plethora of CO2 in the ice that Mars still has around its poles. But if there's enough CO2 to seriously alter the planet's atmosphere is controversial. Musk insists that this is the case, and his idea of forcing Mars to "nuclear explosions" into "nuclear explosions" to serve as an "artificial sun" and to heat the planet and melt the ice.
It's a wild idea, but Musk's second suggestion seems a bit more in the realm of possibility.
Instead of tiny fake stars using nuclear weapons Musk suggests that satellites could reflect sunlight to Mars and heat it up in this way, but that would require thousands of such satellites. The advantage of this approach would be that it could be done gradually and adjustments made.
Without being sure, however, whether the melting of the polar ice on Mars will have a grave impact on its habitability, as z mission remains purely hypothetical.