SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, 48, has advocated detonating nuclear bombs on Mars would rapidly terraform the Red Planet. But an official at Russia’s space agency Roscosmos recently questioned the eccentric billionaire’s audacious plan.
SpaceNews journalist Jeff Foust retweeted Roscosmos director of advanced programs and science Alexander Bloshenko’s statement that Mr Musk’s ambitious proposal would require approximately blowing up 10,000 nuclear weapons based on modern-day technology.
Mr Bloshenko’s comments were directed as Mr Musk’s idea of detonating bombs over both of the Red Planet’s poles.
The highly-controversial plan could potentially release enough carbon dioxide to warm the Martian atmosphere to transform it into something resembling an Earth-like habitat.
The plan has been branded in the past “very unrealistic” because there is not enough carbon on Mars’ polar caps.
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Terraform Mars: Musk’s controversial plan could potential release enough carbon dioxide to warm the (Image: Getty)
Terraform Mars: Elon Musk has doubled down on using nuclear weapons to terraform Mars (Image: Twitter)
However, the billionaire is not known to back down from a challenge.
Mr Musk simply replied to the May 13 tweet with a succinct “no problem”.
The SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur has set his heart on colonising Mars and believes nuking the Red Planet represents the quickest way of realising his dream.
Mr Musk first revealed the master plan back in 2015 on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Terraform Mars: The SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur has set his heart on colonising Mars for some time (Image: Express)
He then stated Mars is “a fixer-upper of a planet” that could be made Earth-like “if it were warmer”.
The South African billionaire explained this could be achieved with the help of nuclear weapons.
This is because the theoretical release of greenhouse gases would fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.
Such WMDs would emit enormous amounts of thermal radiation as visible, infrared and ultraviolet light when detonated.
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Heat accounts for between 35 and 45 percent of the energy released by the explosion, meaning a massive amount of heat is generated incredibly quickly.
Some space scientists believe this could potentially be harnessed to warm the Martian atmosphere.
However, Mr Bloshenko appeared unconvinced by Mr Musk’s fledgeling theory, sharing his thoughts during an interview with Russian state news agency TASS.
Mr Bloshenko said: “If briefly analysed, certain plans put forward by SpaceX simply cannot be implemented taking into account the short-term technological developments.
Terraform Mars: Scientists believe nuclear weapons could potentially be harnessed to warm the Martian atmosphere (Image: Getty)
“For example, for a thermonuclear explosion on Mars’ pole, one of the plans of SpaceX, to have tangible results, more than 10,000 launches of missiles that can carry the largest payloads and are being developed now are needed.”
The Roscosmos director continued to explain humanity lacks the capabilities to alter the climates on Mars or even Venus – another intriguingly Earth-like planet.
But Mr Musk remains very adamant about the feasibility of sending missiles to Mars.
Only last year, the SpaceX CEO tweeted “Nuke Mars”, accompanied with new a proposal for the controversial plan.
And in the following thread, Mr Musk advanced a new theory of cultivating the planet for human habitation involve harnessing the Sun’s rays via “solar reflectors”.
He wrote in August 2019: “Might make sense to have thousands of solar reflector satellites to warm Mars vs artificial suns (tbd).”
While he offered little detail on how the reflectors might actually work, the plan offers an alternative to one reiterated by Mr Musk this past week involving the use of nuclear weapons to warm Mars.