Elon Musk wants to nuke Mars. Really, he wants to drop a nuclear bomb on the Red Planet, and he took to Twitter to share his enthusiasm for the idea – in his dream of terraforming and colonizing Mars. Elon Musk first suggested nuking Mars back in 2015, when he argued that using bombs to destroy the planet’s poles would free enough carbon dioxide to increase the planet’s atmospheric temperature to that of Earth, though scientists warned that the plan wouldn’t even come close to succeeding. Before we can discuss terraforming Mars, perhaps a better question is, when will humans get to Mars?
It should be noted that maybe we should nuke Mars first and then let the dust settle for 200 years. After all, we have already sent robotic rovers to Mars, sending nuclear missiles would be easy. With this Mars exploration strategy, there would be no need to worry about getting humans to Mars for quite a long time. The public outcry and the many scientific controversies most likely will never allow this Mars exploration strategy to become a reality (at least in the foreseeable future) – so let’s dismiss this right away. Sorry, Elon – but it is an interesting idea.
Getting back to the question of, when will humans first step onto Mars. NASA has made it clear they want astronauts back on the Moon in 2024, and now, they are zeroing in on Mars. The U.S. space agency confirmed that it wants humans to reach Mars by 2033. NASA is racing to enact the plans of Trump, who dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to announce that the timetable for once again putting humans on the Moon had been cut by four years to 2024. Moving up plans for the Moon will move up the time for Mars, as the Moon is a stepping stone to Mars. Quite the ambitious plan.
What are the roadblocks for this ambitious plan? The obvious one is technology. Though space technology is difficult, there have been good recent advancements. News Forecasters is confident that, if the motivation is there, the technology hurdles will be overcome. This motivation needs to be stimulated via some business potentials. If a good business reason could be found for entering space the dream of planetary exploration could become more realistic. Here is one possibility, obtaining resources for potential fusion technology.
National exploratory ambitions have always been difficult to fund. International ambitions are a bit easier to fund but much harder to manage and take longer. It is always an issue of current needs vs ambiguous ambitions with unknown paybacks. We sent nine Apollo crews to the moon (six landed). If we send nine crews to Mars, the total bill would be in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion. If one would ask would you prefer the Mars missions or the Gulf Wars of the past several decades, the answer would be simple, yes. But unfortunately, this is not the proposition on the table.
The proposition that would be asked is, would you rather have the Mars missions or universal healthcare coverage? A more difficult question to answer. It is News Forecasters view that America is shifting left – socialism. In this environment, business will be challenging – and hence tax revenues will also be challenging. With a behemoth social state, there will be little money for any Mars mission ambitions.
Any Mars missions will progress, but at a much slower rate than we believed today. This most likely will push back any NASA goals by at least 20 years (2050). And even when the goal is achieved to fully exploit this, it may take an additional 30 years (2080). This is similar to how the 1960s Moon missions played out – once the goal was achieved initially, one just sits on it for decades. Sorry to say, for you space buffs out there.
A video presentation of this subject: