Why Musk's 'Nuking Mars' Idea Isn't All That Far-Fetched
Elon Musk's comment to Stephen Colbert that we could nuke Mars sounded crazy, but is more or less the first step the inventor proposes in getting Mars ready for human colonization. Musk's idea would use thermonuclear explosions at Mars' poles to vaporize frozen carbon dioxide to jump-start the planet's greenhouse effect. A warmer Mars could then support liquid surface water and ultimately life, according to Musk.
Class discussion: Why would Elon Musk hire former NASA scientists? What businesses has he founded? What other advanced ideas has he proposed? What has he said about developing artificial intelligence? Do you think Musk's ideas are valuable or just too wild? Why? Should human beings try to change and colonize other planets? Why or why not?
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level