The technical focus might be on getting to Mars, but SpaceX founder Elon Musk is already thinking a few dozen steps in advance. Namely: He wants to plant two short-term suns on the Red Planet to help with the terraforming.
While speaking at the SolarCity solar panel launch event (via Mashable), Musk went into a bit more detail about his controversial comments a while back about wanting to nuke the sun. Upon further examination, it makes an ambitious amount of sense. Basically, he wants to shoot the nukes above the planet's poles to simulate our sun's effects, which would (hopefully) kick-start efforts to warm the planet and make it potentially more suitable for human occupation.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
"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. Every several seconds, send large fusion bombs over the poles. A lot of people don’t appreciate that our sun is a giant fusion explosion ... So if you have two basically tiny suns over the pole that would warm up the planet. Then you would gasify frozen carbon dioxide, thicken the atmosphere and warm up the water and all of that would have a greenhouse effect. Have a cascading effect to continue warming up the planet.”
Musk is obviously looking a few decades into the future here, but heck, he could be onto something. If nothing else, it’s great to have someone with that type of ambition (and the means to potentially pull it off) spearheading the private-spaceflight arena.
What do you think? Is Musk onto something with this terraforming plan?