We're a long way from sending humans to Mars, and even further from transforming the cold dusty planet into Earth 2. Sure, Elon Musk may see a future for SpaceX settlements on the Red Planet, but television personality Bill Nye is putting a damper on the Mars colonization party before it even starts.
Nye, known as the Science Guy, told USA Today that humans won't be establishing permanent settlements on Mars. "This whole idea of terraforming Mars, as respectful as I can be, are you guys high?" he said in the interview posted on Monday.
Nye brings up some good points. He says Mars isn't a good option due to its extreme cold temperatures, the lack of water and the absence of a breathable atmosphere.
The science educator suggests Mars settlers would quickly tire of donning smelly spacesuits to venture outside of their protective domes.
Still, Nye thinks we should send humans to check out Mars, even if it would be a terrible place to live. "The human explorations of Mars should grow from the [International Space Station], and work to extend human presence farther and farther into deep space," he told CNET earlier this year.
Musk and SpaceX are already eyeing an ambitious timeline to send a crewed mission to Mars in 2024 as part of a process to build a city and "eventually a self-sustaining civilization."
Neither Musk nor SpaceX responded immediately to a request for comment.
If Nye is right, then we may have humans stepping out on Mars some day, but they will use it as a stopover, not a home.