After 'Nuke Mars,' Elon Musk Suggests Solar Reflectors to Warm the Planet Up
Musk also said the deployment of solar dirigible airships to warm up Mars was 'trickier than it may seem.'
File photo of Elon Musk.
Electric vehicle maker Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has come up with a new suggestion to make the Red Planet inhabitable for humans.
The Space X founder has said the use of “thousands of solar reflector satellites” to warm up Mars “makes sense.”
He had previously suggesting "Nuke Mars" for the same purpose.
Might make sense to have thousands of solar reflector satellites to warm Mars vs artificial suns (tbd)— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 20, 2019
Nuke Mars!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 16, 2019
But it seems the ambitious idea may have first been floated by a University of Arizona undergraduate student Rigel Woida, who won a NASA prize to study "the use of large aperture, lightweight orbital mirrors for 'terraforming' an area of the Martian surface so humans could affordably colonize the Red Planet."
In another tweet, Musk explained how nukes will not cause “Mars to become radioactive.”
Nuke Mars refers to a continuous stream of very low fallout nuclear fusion explosions above the atmosphere to create artificial suns. Much like our sun, this would not cause Mars to become radioactive.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 20, 2019
Musk also said the deployment of solar dirigible airships to warm up Mars was “trickier than it may seem.”
Trickier than it may seem on Mars, as atmospheric density is 1% that of Earth & gravity is 38%, but doable for localized warming— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 20, 2019
In a 2015 appearance on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Musk explained the rationale behind his “Nuke Mars” tweet.
"The fast way is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles," he said, referring to his plans of making Mars habitable for colonists by warming it up with greenhouse gases.
But a NASA-backed 2018 research concluded that “terraforming Mars” was not possible using present-day technology, as there might not be enough greenhouse gases on the planet.
In a 2007 report, Woida explained how a series of satellites in orbit would strategically reflect the sun's warmth down onto the surface of Mars, claiming "the engineering requirements needed to complete the heating of a small portion of Mars are attainable."
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