Four years ago, Elon Musk gave us a hint about how he plans to terraform Mars on Stephen Colbert’s show. The internet is going wild again over him tweeting “Nuke Mars”, bringing up this topic again, but this time with T-shirts. Imagine how ironic it would be that the most deterrent weapon of all times can destroy Nature on Earth but help Mars become habitable. However, Nature’s not as ironic as we are, and definitely not as entertained by the idea.
However, Elon first meant to make everybody laugh. Along with all the funny jokes he said on the show, he told Stephen that in order to warm Mars and turn it into Earth, we have a slow way and a fast one. Apparently, nuking Mars is the fast way, and Elon never mentioned the slow way after Stephen called him a super villain. After all, why ruin a good joke on a comedy show? And that’s what it is: a good joke.
Elon’s slow way back then was obviously the more reasonable, scientific method to achieve an Earth-like temperature on Mars. Elon truly believed that Mars has enough frozen CO2 that humans could eventually take advantage of. However, in 2018, NASA released a study stating that there isn’t enough CO2 on Mars to transform it into Earth using present-day technologies. I don’t think Elon ever lost hope, especially that he is that kind of superhero that never settles with the present: he wants to colonize the future. The good news is that just last month, a new NASA research claimed that a substance called Silica Aerogel can definitely help with the terraforming process. It turns out that this “future technology” is already there!
I wish Carl Sagan was still alive. At least our Cosmos role model would’ve rooted for Elon because they share the same exact vision. In Carl Sagan’s words: “If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.” Let alone that in his 1994 book, Sagan even mentions “our descendants on Mars”. I hope that in my lifetime, I will be able to say that Sagan lived in the future that Elon crafted.
But why did Elon resurface that radioactive topic again and on Twitter this time? The joke’s over. Four years ago. Did last month’s NASA news give him a boost of hope? Or maybe it’s the mysterious nuclear bomb explosion in Russia that reignited this idea inside his mind? We will never know. Stephen and the world are not sure yet whether Elon is the superhero or the super villain. I heard that every time a Musk is born, the gods toss a coin in the air, and the world holds its breath to see how it will land. Even if it drives him mad, Elon wants to see that coin land on Mars.