The SpaceX CEO revealed the idea on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday, explaining that there are two ways — slow and fast — to make Mars warmer, and thus more habitable to humans.
Musk did not elaborate on the slow way. But the fast way, he said, is to “drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles,” using SpaceX’s reusable rockets. Frankly, since the last couple of attempts to land those on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean resulted in an explosion, we’d say they’re ideal for the task.
While that primarily sounds like a pretty efficient way to make sure there’s no life on the Red Planet, Musk thinks it would speed up the terraforming process immensely, making Mars sort-of habitable within two or three years.
Colbert was right in pointing out that bombing Mars is something Lex Luthor would do. “You’re a supervillain!” Colbert said. “That’s what a supervillain does!'”
Several propositions for a slow terraforming of Mars have been made, many based on flooding Mars with greenhouse gases and thus building up its atmosphere. Those include importing frozen methane from other planets or moons, or bringing oxygen-producing cyanobacteria and algae to the planet.
But bombing the planet’s ice caps with nukes is a pretty fresh take on the whole Mars colonization concept. It’s also one that would likely have a hard time getting a green light from various agencies, as it would inevitably cause major problems for people trying to figure out if there is life on Mars. but hey that’s colonization, that’s what you have to do! Didn’t you seen the Hollywood alien movies?