An atomic bomb to make Mars habitable

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The madness of the human race knows no bounds. After having polluted our good old Earth to the point of compromising humanity's prospects of survival, we are now seeking to conquer other planets to make them habitable. And if they aren't, all we have to do is force nature a little.
It is this crazy dream that Elon Musk has just revealed by stating without joking that if we bombed the poles of Mars with a few nuclear bombs, the polar ice would melt, releasing enough heat to recreate a liveable atmosphere.
 
Elon Musk is not a fancy guy. He is a forty-year-old but multi-billionaire entrepreneur who has already achieved several feats of arms: he created Paypal, a revolution in the field of payments, used today by several hundred million people around the world; he founded Tesla Motors, which is one of the most serious alternatives currently available for the creation of new generations of automobiles. He founded Space X, whose objective is to create low-cost launchers to conquer space. Finally, he is the promoter of one of the most revolutionary transport projects: thehyperloop. In short, a man of innovative ideas, who knows how to put them into practice.
 
Elon Musk
 
Elon Musk has been forging for a long time, along with others... visionaries...the idea of going to Mars. He even claims to be able to send a manned flight there in a few short years. But Mars doesn't have enough atmosphere and so it's not livable. It once was, and its history is exemplary for imagining what might happen to the Earth in the more or less near future.
Several scientists are therefore working on a project to "terraform" it, i.e. to intervene on Mars in order to make it compatible with human living standards. Among these ideas, Elon Musk launched one last Wednesday on CBS which, it is the case to say, made the effect of an explosion. According to him, it is enough to bombard the icy poles of Mars with a few nuclear charges to melt them and create enough heat to gradually generate, by greenhouse effect, an atmosphere on the red planet. This, he says, is "the fastest way to make Mars habitable".
On paper, the idea might work. Indeed, by producing a huge heat wave through nuclear explosions, the polar ice could melt, bringing the water necessary for life. The scientists immediately pointed out the risks of this idea. Indeed, the explosion of atomic bombs on Martian soil would inevitably lead to a nuclear winter, which would prevent any form of life from flourishing on Mars.
Elon Musk is aware of this and therefore proposes a plan B, which is slower to implement. It consists of releasing enough greenhouse gases on Mars to recreate a liveable atmosphere. This solution is in the boxes of several scientific teams who are working on it seriously.
 
The Mars Terraforming Project
 
Injecting greenhouse gas into the Red Planet is a solution that seems theoretically feasible. The success of what may seem like madness is actually due to the history of Mars. The planet's past history suggests that it may one day become habitable for humans, that it can be made "habitable" for humans, that we can "live" on it, that we can "live" on it, that we can "live" on it. terraformer ".
 
 
 
The history of Mars can be broken down into three distinct ages: the Noachian, the Hesperian and the Amazonian.
Noachien took place from about 4.1 to about 3.7 billion years ago; this period is characterized by a heavy asteroid bombardment and the formation of abundant water surfaces on the planet. This period is the "hot and humid" age of Mars. There was probably a thick atmosphere at this time, whose pressure and greenhouse effect certainly allowed large amounts of liquid water to exist. The end of this age would have been marked by the beginning of intense volcanic activity.
L’Hesperian is in a period ranging from 3.7 billion years to between 1.7 and 3 billion years depending on the time scales chosen by scientists. This period is marked by intense volcanic activity. The global magnetic field would have disappeared, allowing the solar wind to erode the atmosphere, whose temperature and pressure on the ground would have begun to drop significantly, so that liquid water would have ceased to exist permanently on the surface of Mars.
L’Amazonian dates back 3.1 to 1.8 billion years, depending on the scale. This period is quite poor in geological activity and is characterized by extreme aridity and drought; this is the configuration we know today on Mars. During this period, Mars' volcanic activity weakened considerably. However, as on Earth, it was volcanoes that played a major role in the formation of the atmosphere and its recycling. Without volcanic activity, the atmospheric recycling stopped and Mars absorbed its atmosphere like a sponge. As the planet's core also cooled, it lost much of its magnetic field, making the upper atmosphere very vulnerable to electrically charged solar winds. By losing most of its atmosphere, the planet cooled and its liquid water became ice.
 
The terraformation of Mars
 
According to some scientists, there is still a thick and warm atmosphere beneath the surface of Mars. We could therefore imagine "waking up" this atmosphere by generating sufficient greenhouse gases. This theory is supported by the characteristics of the current Martian atmosphere: the atmospheric pressure is currently between 6 and 7 millibars at low altitude. This represents less than 1% of the Earth's pressure at sea level. The inventory of frozen carbon dioxide remaining on the Martian surface is estimated to be about 100 thousand millibars, with much of it existing on the frozen surface at the poles and the rest underground in the permafrost.
 
The increase in atmospheric pressure and global temperature is linked to the warming of the Earth's poles. Hence the idea of creating a runaway greenhouse effect to release Mars' reserves of frozen carbon dioxide.
 
So the problem is thawing the poles. How do you do that? Elon Musk's radical method is violent, to say the least. There are others: in their article published in the journal of the British Interplanetary Society, " Technological requirements of Mars terraforming "Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin suggest the use of orbital mirrors. Built in high orbit above Mars, the mirrors reflect sunlight onto the Martian surface to warm it.
 
Another key to stabilizing Mars' atmosphere is the activation of its hydrosphere. Water not only provides a vital element for life, it also has the ability to stabilize the climate. Water retains heat and reduces drastic temperature fluctuations during the diurnal cycle, and water vapour is a powerful greenhouse gas that will help maintain thermal energy in the atmosphere. Current models suggest that there are large amounts of water stored in the Martian permafrost. Releasing this water will require an enormous amount of energy. Some believe that to release Martian water we could try to control the impact of an asteroid by simulating the bombardment of the hydrosphere that took place during the Noachian era. An even crazier idea than Elon Musk's, which, by comparison, seems almost the most sensible.
 
 
 
 

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