- Musk repeatedly posed the idea that the Martian atmosphere could be heated to accommodate human life by destroying its poles and artificially creating a greenhouse effect. On Tuesday, however, Musk suggested preferring satellites with solar reflectors to discard nuclear weapons.
- Vaporization of the Mars poles may not have the desired effect on Musk, as they may not contain enough CO2 to sufficiently warm the atmosphere.
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Elon Musk A new idea to make the Martian atmosphere more habitable – and it's not about firing nuclear weapons at the poles.
Read more: Here are some of the gaping holes in Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' plans to conquer space.
Musk repeated the idea last week, even creating "Nuke Mars" T-shirts. However, on Tuesday he tweeted a new theory that replaced hydrogen bombs with satellites.
"It might make sense to use thousands of solar reflector satellites to heat Mars against artificial suns (tbd)," Musk wrote. With artificial suns Musk refers to the theoretical flow of atomic explosions, which are caused by atomic bombs.
Musk, however, has not completely abandoned nuclear weapons. "Nuke Mars refers to a continuous stream of nuclear fusion explosions with very little precipitation above the atmosphere to create artificial suns, and like our sun, would not cause Mars to become radioactive," Musk said in a follow-up note. . He also said the method was "not risky imo [in my opinion]."
Replacing nuclear weapons with satellites could not solve some of the major problems that Musk's dreams of terraforming Mars have. A paper published last year in Nature Astronomy came to the conclusion that the release of Mars-CO2 is insufficient for two reasons to adequately alter the atmosphere.
First, the researchers found that not enough CO2 is trapped in the poles to produce a sufficiently strong greenhouse effect, and secondly, unlike Earth, the Martian atmosphere continues to be lost, causing all emerging gases to slowly drift into space.