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Nuke Mars

For its own good!
  (+11, -3)(+11, -3)
(+11, -3)
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Now that the soviets are gone, we have all of these nuclear weapons lying around. Many are still attached to rockets capable of escape velocity. I propose that 90% of these be launched to detonate on the Martian icecap. There is a lot of water frozen on mars, and the energy of a colossal nuclear explosion will suspend a haze of water vapor and dust into the martian atmosphere. This will create a greenhouse effect, warming the planet, melting more ice, and causing more atmospheric haze.

As the Martian atmosphere becomes warmer and wetter, several more rockets with varied photosynthetic bacteria should be sent to Mars as well. Natural selection and mutation (no doubt fueled by residual radiaoactivity) should allow these robust critters to adapt and begin putting out an oxygen atmosphere. I am a little concerned about available carbon but I understand the Mars does have some areas of carbon dioxide ice, which could be freed up for use by the remaining 10% of the nuclear missiles.

I see this program as akin to planting a seed from which will grow a wondrous fruit-bearing tree. In a few hundred years out descendants will thank us for beating our swords into plowshares and planting the seeds of a beautiful new world for them.

bungston, Mar 07 2003

Lichen for Mars Lichen_20for_20Mars
Yeah baby, them's the critters for the job. [ye_river_xiv, Mar 31 2007]

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       i think bush has some of those missiles earmarked for other projects, [bung]. maybe we can buy a few from N Korea.
sambwiches, Mar 07 2003
  

       Read 'The Sands of Mars' by Arthur C Clarke.
angel, Mar 07 2003
  

       Iraq could help out with some rockets and bacteria.
FarmerJohn, Mar 07 2003
  

       I think attacking the god of war would be ill advised.
waugsqueke, Mar 07 2003
  

       What, you want we should send him flowers? He's the god of War! He _likes_ it!
bungston, Mar 07 2003
  

       I was reading the "create new moons" idea and realized that the goal of a martian atmosphere could be better (if not more easily) achieved by crashing one of the martian moons into the planet surface. Best of all would be to crash it into the polar ice cap. A tremendous amount of heat and dust would be liberated - probably more than all the nukes as described above. It might require all the nukes to blast the moon out of stable orbit, though. There would need to be a deep mine, which would be filled with nukes (kind of like Wile E Coyote did with a cave and dynamite a few times). On detonation, they would launch a sizeable chunk of moon out and away. The rest of the moon would spiral inwards to eventually hit the planet surface. Alternatively it could be used as a cue ball to knock the other moon into the surface.
bungston, Nov 25 2003
  

       The mars-nuking thing has been kicked around for quite some time... even before 2003. "Red Planet," staring Val Kilmer and the matrix girl just before she got big includes a passing reference to this one.   

       A few subtle refinements have also been devised:   

       There's a big deposit of black dust near one of the poles. I think it's up north around Vastitas Borealis. By dropping the bomb on that each spring, you'll leave a deposit of black dust on the ice cap each summer, which will lower the albedo, and increase heating of the cap through sunlight... This will of course be in addition to the dust in the atmosphere (which will only cause a sort of nuke-winter) and the sublimation of thousands of tonnes of subterranean ice.   

       I suppose if you must knock one of the moons down, you should probably take out phobos. That way the skyhook enthusiasts won't have to work around that guy. Besides, phobos is unstable anyway, and will collide to the surface in a few million years anyway.   

       Getting it all the way up to the pole should prove an interesting challenge though. I'm not sure our nuke supplies are up to it... especially since reaching escape velocity from earth is not the hard part in a trip to Mars.
ye_river_xiv, Mar 31 2007
  

       I'm all in favor, s'aye! Nuke it! Nuke it good.
quantum_flux, Mar 31 2007
  

       Would this not make the water and the atmosphere of mars radioactive?
BJS, Mar 31 2007
  

       /radioactive?/   

       Not forever. It should subside by the time the photosynthesizers generate an oxygen atmosphere.   

       I appreciete your subtleties, [xiv]. This idea needs plenty of that.
bungston, Apr 01 2007
  

       Nuke it! Nuke it good!
fett625, Apr 01 2007
  

       Using multi-kiloton explosives is all about subtlety. Of course, now that I think of it, if you nuke the ice cap in the winter time, it'll kick up dust and fog into the atmosphere, thus increasing the albedo over the ice caps during the winter, so less heat was lost...   

       Hmm, Four seasons nuking for mars. Well, I suppose I should see if redcolony.com has already discussed that subtelty.
ye_river_xiv, Apr 02 2007
  
      
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