SpaceX Starship Update | Why Elon Musk Wants to Nuke Mars?

In the late hours of Thursday 15th August
evening, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a bizarre declaration over Twitter. “Nuke Mars!” he told his 27.8 million
followers. A tech billionaire acquiring nukes to smash
into the nearest planet seems like a scrapped James Bond storyline, but Musk has previously
claimed there’s scientific merit to the idea. Musk has a different idea about to turn uninhabitable
places into lovely new neighborhoods. Back in 2015, the billionaire famously suggested
the best way to ‘terraform’ Mars and make it suitable for human habitation is by hitting
it with nuclear weapons. The theory behind Elon’s plan relies on
melting the polar ice caps of Mars to release CO2 into the atmosphere to create a greenhouse
effect which increases pressure and temperature. Meaning humans could potentially move around
Mars with just a breathing apparatus. Musk’s other idea is a giant, artificial
sun that gradually releases the gas over time. Nuclear weapons sounds like a drastic idea,
but compared to pulsating suns, it could be both faster and slightly more realistic. The optics are questionable, to say the very
least. During a 2015 appearance on The Late Show
with Stephen Colbert, Musk mentioned the same idea and Colbert responded with incredulity:
“You’re a supervillain! That’s what a supervillain does!” Mars is not particularly hospitable to humans
right now, so the logic behind nuking the planet is that humans could intervene to make
it more hospitable. Scientists were not entirely convinced by
Elon’s plan and feared nuking the Red Planet would be counterproductive and make it even
less hospitable. In This video Engineering Today will discuss,
Why Elon Musk Wants to Nuke Mars? How the Plan Could Work? Why It May Not Work practically? Let’s get into details. Terraforming Mars, a planet just over half
the size of Earth, could provide a second nearby home for humans. For Musk, who wants to establish a city on
Mars by 2050 at a cost of up to $10 trillion, the idea is to transform humanity into a multi-planetary
species. It could use refuelableSpaceXrockets to hop
further and further out, expanding and exploring. Nasa recently revealed further details of
a proposed plan to use Elon Musk’s SpaceXStarship in future missions to Mars and the moon. The billionaire’s SpaceX is currently testing
a prototype called Starhopper that’s an early version of a spacecraft called Spaceship
Super Heavy which could play a vital role in humanity’s exploration of the heavens. Musk explained in September 2018 that “SpaceXStarship
is really intended as an interplanetary transport system that’s capable of getting from Earth
to anywhere in the solar system as you establish propellant depots along the way.” Those final destinations could cover “Mars,
Moon, maybe Venus, the moons of Jupiter, throughout the Solar System.” This ultimate goal taps into Musk’s wider
motivations for the SpaceXrocket: “There’s so many things that make people sad or depressed
about the future, but I think becoming a space-faring civilization is one of those things that makes
you excited about the future…that is the intent of SpaceXStarship, is to make people
excited about the future.” In March 2018, Musk cited a rather less optimistic
reason for colonizing Mars. During the South by Southwest conference in
Austin, Texas, Musk stated that such a colony would be better protected from an apocalyptic
scenario. In the event of World War III, the only way
for humanity to survive is to colonize Mars or the moon, according to Elon Musk. Adding “I’m not predicting that we’re about
to enter the dark ages, but there’s some probability that we will, particularly if there’s a third
world war, We want to make sure there’s enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere
else to bring civilization back and, perhaps, shorten the length of the dark ages”
Experts have warned, however, that base-dwellers could suffer from a number of social and psychological
issues. Trapped indoors, architects would have to
design habitats with liveable spaces, avoiding cabin fever and encouraging cooperation. In the worst-case scenario, the Mars city
could collapse into nationalistic in-fighting. Terraforming could give humans a greater degree
of freedom to move around and make the planet an altogether more pleasant place to live. It’s not the first time Musk has suggested
using nuclear technology to boost humanity’s plans for Mars. In July 2019, he recommended nuclear rockets
would be “a great area of research for NASA,” boosting trips to Mars that could cut down
the flight time to just 100 days. Mars is cold. Like, 217 Kelvin cold. That’s around minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating up the planet, essentially fueling
climate change on Mars, could make it slightly more hospitable. The planet is also home to a large carbon
dioxide store. Heating up the planet could release the gases
and water at the poles. These stores are left from when a wetter Mars
may have orbited the sun. This Mars, which may have existed 4 billion
years ago, may have had water up to a mile deep in some areas. Scientists theorize that this may have been
stripped away by solar winds pushing away the Martian atmosphere over time. Research published in the journal Geophysical
Research Letter in 2015 suggested there could be up to 150 billion cubic meters of ice on
Mars — enough to cover the planet with 1.1 meters of ice. Release enough carbon dioxide, the theory
goes, and Mars will experience an Earth-like self-sustaining climate change. “You could start turning Mars from a red planet
into a green planet,” Michael Shara, curator of the American Museum of Natural History’s
astrophysics department, told in a statement. Nuclear weapons aren’t the only way that humans
could melt the planet’s polar caps. Shara offered some alternatives, like finding
a way to guide asteroids to Mars’ poles, or covering the poles in a fine, black dust to
absorb sunlight and heat them up. But many ideas involve transporting heavy
equipment to Mars, which would be very expensive. Nukes are fairly compact and immensely powerful,
offering a lot of bang for the buck. Using nukes might not be the best public relations
move. But modern thermonuclear weapons can be designed
to leave very little fallout, Shara said, and wouldn’t pose much danger centuries after
they hit. It could take firing thousands of them over
the course of decades to start the greenhouse effect, Shara said. After that, it might only be centuries before
people could start buying vacation homes on Mars. The crater was shared in an image from the
European Space Agency on December 2018, taken by the Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo
Camera. The 50-mile-wide site, filled with ice, is
situated in the northern lowlands of Mars. The crater hosts a pile of water ice 1.12
miles wide all year, thanks to the cold trap phenomenon: the crater’s floor lies 1.24
miles down from the rim, meaning that as air passes over the top, it cools and drops to
create a protective layer of cold air to house the deeper levels of the ice. Musk, who joked about warming up this ice,
has long advocated for tapping up Mars’ frozen stores of carbon dioxide near the planet’s
poles. “It’s a clever idea in principle,” Shara said. “Whether it would really work, I don’t think
anyone has worked up the physics in enough detail to say it would.” Even the most advanced computer simulations
would have trouble predicting the aftermath of starting a runaway greenhouse effect. Gary King, a microbiologist at Louisiana State
University, thinks bombing the Red Planet would not be the best approach. “Cloud formation could have a dampening effect,
for instance, cooling Mars rather than warming it,” King told. The nuke concept could be worse than ineffectual,
some scientists have said. Namely, it could backfire, ushering in a “phenomenon
known as ‘nuclear winter’ (akin to the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs), wherein
you generate so much dust and particles that they literally block out a significant portion
of the incoming sunlight, cooling down the planet,” climate scientist Michael Mann of
Penn State University told in 2015. Musk’s plan has faced scrutiny from the
scientific community. Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado,
Boulder, and Christopher S. Edwards of Northern Arizona University published a paper in the
journal Nature Astronomy in July 2018, arguing that strategy might not even work. The Mars doesn’t harbor enough CO2 today to
achieve significant warming even if all the stuff were liberated into the atmosphere. Studying existing technology and estimates
of Mars’ carbon dioxide stores, the results suggest that there is not enough CO2 remaining
on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming were the gas to be emplaced into the
atmosphere; in addition, most of the CO2 gas in these reservoirs is not accessible and
thus cannot be readily mobilized. As a result, we conclude that terraforming
Mars is not possible using present-day technology. The pair estimated that the polar caps would
be enough for around 15 millibars of atmospheric pressure. Vaporizing the carbon-rich sedimentary rocks
from Mars’ watery days would release around 12 millibars. For comparison, Earth’s atmosphere at sea
level is around 1,000 millibars. The study team also explained why it did not
consider water as a warming agent. “Previous models of atmospheric warming have
demonstrated that water cannot provide significant warming by itself; temperatures do not allow
enough water to persist as vapor without first having significant warming by CO2”. It wouldn’t be the first time humans have
experimented with nature and faced unintended consequences. Whether the idea of terraforming Mars with
nuclear weapons works out or not, Musk’s space company SpaceX has been working on the
Starship spacecraft that will eventually transport humans to the moon. The SpaceXStarship space vehicle will aim
to travel to Mars in the future and set up a base on the planet. SpaceX is working on building two orbital
Starship prototypes named Mk1 and Mk2 at facilities in Texas and Florida respectively. An early prototype of the SpaceXStarship called
the Starhopper completed a few tests before and it will be conducting another one soon
after it was delayed for “hazard analysis” by the FAA. No date has been announced yet for the next
flight test of spaceXStarhopper. Transforming frigid, dry and radiation-blasted
Mars into a more clement world aligns with Musk’s long-term goals. He wants to help humanity colonize the Red
Planet. The reusable SpaceXStarship could start launching
satellites as early as 2021 and people by 2023. Musk believes humanity will be able to found
a permanent settlement on the Red Planet in just over three decades.

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40 thoughts on “SpaceX Starship Update | Why Elon Musk Wants to Nuke Mars?

  1. Elon Musk is half serious, half brainstorming! There has been a huge amount of analysis and discussion about terraforming Mars, and lots of really great science fiction written, over the past several decades. And some of these scenarios do consider nuclear bombs to accelerate the process. So this is really quite an old idea. What's new is that we are on the threshold of actually having the capability and rationale for carrying it out.

  2. So, they seem to be saying, if we vaporized the ice caps and carbon rich rock it would only add 30 Mb of pressure for a total of around 37 Mb… and a human needs around 70 Mb so our blood won't boil.

    Less than 50% of what we would need.

    The answer is robotics in the outer solar system. Sending Icebergs wrapped in mylar on a Mars trajectory. As they "burn up" in Mars' atmosphere they will add significant Nitrogen and water to it.

  3. I dont see this working at all. You would just expedite the loss of atmosphere, and it will just refreeze like it did before. If it made the place sustainably warm it would be sustainably warm now and not need nuking in the first place!

  4. It's interesting that they would try to create nukes that would leave very little fallout. I hadn't heard of that. My concern is that any CO2 released as a result of melting the polar ice caps might just float off into space anyway. I have read a few times that Mars used to have a much more dense atmosphere but the planet isn't able to retain atmosphere so it just bakes off into space. I think it has to do with no ionosphere? The other thing this video doesn't mention is the idea of creating a human-made magnetic protection satellite against solar radiation at the L1 lagrange point because I think the solar winds are one of the main problems with getting Mars to maintain any atmosphere we could create there? I'd like to know what work is being done to see if that's a feasible plan. In any case, it doesn't seem like we'd be able to create a dense atmosphere anytime soon and for the time being, we'd have to build habitats underground or in lava tubes or with 3D printed thick domes over the habitats to protect against both solar radiation and galactic cosmic rays.

  5. Dude forget world war 3 ..
    Bees are endangered, the glaciers are melting, record amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere, the oceans are full of plastic now the amazonian rain forest is on fire
    Doomsday is here people

  6. This is Very Interesting to think about! Could we Nuke Mars? Scientists need to get together on this and discuss what can be done! We Live in an Exciting Time!! 🙂 🔴🚀

  7. What if we increased Mars' CO2 levels with rapid industrialization? It does the same thing here on Earth, look what it did for China.

  8. That's great… but it doesnt answer the underlying issue… of no, or little magnetic field.. release of gasses in to an atmosphere would just blow off from solar winds… now I'm no scientist but if I can understand this then his plan has no viability to it.

  9. Nuking Mars is one of the worst ideas ever, what about life as we don't know it, how would we like to be nuked by an alien race who claimed they didn't know we were here.

  10. Just tell all the world leaders if you want to test nuclear weapons you can do it on Mars’s poles. Should warm it up in no time

  11. It is too early for this channel to put so much adds. Not enough subscribers yet. Many will leave it without subscribing.

  12. Terra forming Mars with only Mars' resources is a non starter. All the necessary atmosphere that is needed to make Mars habitable has been stripped away by the sun billions of years ago. With the small gravity and no magnetic field makes it impossible to create an atmosphere on Mars. The only real way to colonize Mars is to live underground there. Any water vapour released into Mars' atmosphere would instantly freeze and who wants to live on a radioactive ball of rock.


  14. Jokes on him Nukes do not exist just like his car in space. Elon is part of the gay Freemasons that run NASA.

  15. I have no issues with Elon or anyone else experimenting with Mars atmosphere.. At the very least we will learn more about taking care of our own

  16. I'm with you Elon 1000 percent just not on this one bro!!! Unless we have to! I believe it would be better to set up a magnet sphere around the plannet, and then use another way to melt ice and create an atmosphere other than nukes. Nuke is the easy way out and El barato siempre sale caro!!! But if anyone can do it it's you bro!

  17. Thumbs down for quoting self-admitted liar (had to admit in court he lied about tacking on temp records on the end of his proxy reconstruction) michael mann. BTW, he doesn't have any degrees related to climatology.

  18. Whats his answer to the lack of magnetic field around Mars…solar radiation will wipe out any atmosphere created

  19. Need to restore that magnetic field first.
    If you nuke it now, you release all the volatile compounds on Mars, which will then be stripped away by solar winds. There will obviously be no "do overs" because you just lost everything volatile.

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