Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and SpaceX boss, disagrees with environmentalists that there is no Planet B. Billionaire Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, regularly has radical ideas about space and has long had a Mars agenda. In February of this year, Elon Musk revealed a timeline for taking humans to Mars, something he had been teasing for some time. Musk has made his plans clear at times, from wearing a literal t-shirt saying “enter Mars by 2026” to publicly wearing a “occupy Mars” T-shirt. Humans might get there with Musk, but what happens afterward? Can humans live on Mars?
Over the years, many compelling arguments have been made about the reasons scientists have chosen to investigate Mars specifically, rather than another planet. A 2017 report in Astronomy explored how, “The atmosphere of Mars is mostly carbon dioxide, the surface of the planet is too cold to sustain human life, and the planet’s gravity is a mere 38% of Earth’s. Plus, the atmosphere on Mars is equivalent to about 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level.”
It doesn’t end there. Humans may also find Mars’ temperatures unsuitable. The average temperature on Mars oscillates between 35 degrees Celsius and -143 degrees Celsius, according to a Twitter account known as the ‘stats feed’. On Earth’s surface, the average temperature is -63 degrees Celsius.
Tesla’s Elon Musk replied with a cheeky message – “Needs some warming up.”
Elon Musk in February this year had finally put a date to putting humans on Mars. “Five and a half years,” Musk had said. While that’s not a hard deadline, Musk listed a number of caveats — there’s a raft of technological advances that must be made in the intervening years. “The important thing is that we establish Mars as a self-sustaining civilization,” he said.
NASA, the nation’s leading space agency, had a deadline seven years after Musk’s, which makes the timing a bit ambitious. Until at least 2033, humans will not visit Mars on a NASA-funded rocket since the Perseverance rover will study rocks and search for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet.
Artemis will also establish a sustainable presence on the lunar surface as part of its Apollo to Luna and Mars mission.
Mars was also the focus of Musk’s answers. By heating Mars to a more Earth-like temperature, you can make the planet Earthlike over time. The warming up of the planet may be what he meant.
Terraforming: What is it?
This process of terraforming is also known as terraforming or terraforming, which literally means, “shaping the Earth”. In this case, the earth-like climate, surface geography, and climatology are created to match the Earth’s, thus making it habitable. What are Musk’s plans for terraforming it though? The poles were suggested to be nuked by Musk in 2015.
By exploding a nuclear bomb over Mars’ polar caps, Elon Musk argued, we could terraform the red planet. He asserted that since the explosion would be over the poles in space, the radiation would not be an issue, but the release of heat would lead to greenhouse warming and melting of water ice. Adding other things to his stance in his follow-up comments, he explained his position more fully. Musk said his idea was to create two tiny pulsing “suns” over the regions. “They’re really above the planet, they’re not on the planet,” Musk said at an event for Solar City in New York City’s Times Square this morning. Every few moments, he wants to send a large fusion bomb over the poles, to create small blinking suns. “A lot of people don’t appreciate that our Sun is a large fusion explosion,” he had said, reported The Verge in 2015.
Musk’s ‘Nuke Mars’ agenda also included t-shirts.
The T-shirts Musk designed were intended to promote his plan to drop nuclear weapons on Mars. Musk recently proclaimed that nuking Mars would make its surface livable for humans, according to him. Also in May, the billionaire CEO showed up to Saturday Night Live wearing the shirt.
The race to colonize Mars isn’t just between Musk’s SpaceX and NASA. Private Dutch company founded in 2011 received investments by promising to set up a permanent colony on Mars through the use of the money. There is still a lot going on with Mars One. On their website, they explain why Mars and no other planets could be suitable: “Its soil contains water to extract. It isn’t too cold or too hot. There is enough sunlight to use solar panels. Gravity on Mars is 38% that of our Earth’s, which is believed by many to be sufficient for the human body to adapt to. It has an atmosphere (albeit a thin one) that offers protection from cosmic and the Sun’s radiation. The day/night rhythm is very similar to ours here on Earth: a Mars day is 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds,” it argues. But the bottom line for living on Mars remains, it cannot be without assistance. Even Mars One agrees, “Humans cannot live on Mars without the help of technology, but compared to Venus it’s paradise!”