Culture

Elon Musk explains how he would bomb Mars

Technically Incorrect: Tesla's CEO wants to create constant nuclear pulse explosions so that there'd be two little suns to heat the planet and make it ready for our arrival.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Elon Musk
Elon Musk. Advocating nuclear explosions for the good of mankind. Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters/Corbis

To my naive mind, it's like turning on the heating with your Nest controller before you get home.

At heart, though, blowing up Mars is a little more complicated than that.

During a recent appearance on (disclosure: "Late Show" network CBS is CNET's parent), Elon Musk ventured that the quickest way to make Mars livable would be to nuke it.

It wasn't entirely clear how a nuclear explosion might help, as man's history with nuclear explosions hasn't always been positive.

However, at an event to launch Solar City's new solar panels on Friday -- he's an investor -- Musk elaborated on his plan.

As Mashable reports, he said he was glad that water had been found on Mars. He then explained: "What I was talking about was having a series of very large, by our standards, but very small by calamity standards -- essentially having two tiny pulsing suns over the poles. They're really above the planet. Not on the planet."

So Mars would stay intact. It would simply have permanent heating lamps.

Musk said that most people don't realize that the sun which we worship is, in fact, "a giant fusion explosion."

Ergo, despite there being no technology that can do this yet, he imagines sending large fusion bombs over the poles of Mars. This would happen every few seconds, with more and more explosions being created as more bombs were sent up.

"So if you have two, basically, tiny suns over the poles, that would warm up the planet," he said, "then you would gasify frozen carbon dioxide, thicken the atmosphere and warm up the water and all of that would have a greenhouse effect."

Clearly he's thinking ahead. There are many logistical steps to be taken before such a thing is possible. But if the new Ridley Scott movie is successful, perhaps a follow-up might include some of Musk's thinking.

Then we'd be able to visualize it for ourselves and have a sense of where our kids might go to college.