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#1 2019-08-22 09:11:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,333

Should we nuke Mars like Musk says?

Personally I've no huge problem with the concept of nuking part of planet Mars to aid terraformation. But first I would want to have the whole planet thoroughly surveyed to see what is there. If there are life forms, as we might reasonably expect, then nuking Mars would be unethical. But if it is truly dead, as NASA would have us believe, I see no ethical issues.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#2 2019-08-22 11:13:15

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 225

Re: Should we nuke Mars like Musk says?

No ethical issues, just practical ones.  A 1MT thermonuclear warhead would release 4.4E15 joules of energy.  That's the same amount of energy as released by sunlight over 1 square kilometre for 1 year in the UK.  Doesn't sound like much when you look at it like that.  What's more, if the desire is to avoid generating radioactivity, then the bomb would need to air burst and most of the heat would be delivered by thermal radiation.  This would be a relatively inefficient means of transferring the heat, as half of the heat radiates into the sky and much of the other half would be reradiated due to the poor thermal conductivity of frozen ice and CO2 and the short duration of the flash.  You would need a lot of bombs to vaporise the Martian cap and the cost would be huge.

If the intention is to colonise Mars, then a better option would be to set up a nuclear powered CFC factory on the surface of Mars.  Or better still, to start mining the dry ice and using it as a source of power.  That way, vaporising the ice is a by-product of human operations, rather than something we must specifically pay for.

Last edited by Calliban (2019-08-22 11:15:35)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#3 2019-08-22 17:05:51

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,382

Re: Should we nuke Mars like Musk says?

The warming of mars has also been talked here also with regards to restarting its core as well.

The warming was also seen as being possible from solar concentration reflection.

Elon Musk ponders solar reflectors instead of nuking Mars to warm it up: Fewer explosions and more shiny things might be the key to making the Red Planet habitable.

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#4 2019-08-23 06:52:47

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,333

Re: Should we nuke Mars like Musk says?

I'm particular interested in whether you could place your solar reflector in a Mercury-style (or nearer) orbit around the Sun, so the area of reflection could be much smaller for the same effect as a reflector in Mars orbit.

SpaceNut wrote:

The warming of mars has also been talked here also with regards to restarting its core as well.

The warming was also seen as being possible from solar concentration reflection.

Elon Musk ponders solar reflectors instead of nuking Mars to warm it up: Fewer explosions and more shiny things might be the key to making the Red Planet habitable.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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