Former MLB star Jose Canseco has decided to add his thoughts to the discussion on what he evidently perceives as one of humankind’s most pressing issues: how humanity can terraform Mars to make it suitable for human habitation once Earth has been rendered unlivable. Canseco tweeted a detailed and well-thought out endorsement of CEO of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) and SpaceX, Elon Musk’s, assertion that humanity should consider a plan to make Mars livable, possibly with the use of nuclear bombs.
Canseco reports that, by his calculations, nuking Mars’ polar ice caps would create an ocean 36-feet deep around the entire planet. Further, he hints that he has worked out a way to redirect Triton, a moon of Saturn, to collide with Mars, creating the effect of making the “planet habitable faster.” He also noted a similarity between his and Musk’s “great minds.”
If we could get ammonia to Mars we could make an atmosphere— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) December 11, 2015
By my calculations if we nuked the polar ice caps on Mars we would make an ocean of 36 feet deep across the whole planet.— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) December 11, 2015
And then it appears that redirecting Saturn's moon Triton to collide into Mars could make the planet habitable faster— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) December 11, 2015
Yes i DID think about the missing magnetic field. It is created when the Triton collision liquidates Mars outer core into molten iron.— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) December 11, 2015
Back in early September, Elon Musk appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and spoke with the host about his plans for human habitation on the planet Mars. In order to make Mars suitable for humans it is reportedly necessary to raise the temperature of the planet. Creating an Earth-like atmosphere would be desirable as well.
Musk suggested that detonating thermonuclear weapons on Mars might be a good way to raise the temperature. Scientists at the time noted that the amount of energy required to nuke Mars effectively would be much larger than the largest nuclear bomb ever built, as reported by the Inquisitr.
Inverse reports that the largest-ever Soviet nuke, named the Tsar Bomba, was 57 megatons, which is absolutely massive. The biggest U.S. nuclear bomb, the B83, is 1.2 megatons: about 50 times smaller. It would take 260 Tsar Bombas or 12,000 B83s, delivered to Mars, to warm the atmosphere; and those estimates might not even be high enough. Mars could be colder than we imagined.
Motherboard reported contacting five astrobiologists for their opinions on Elon Musk’s and Jose Canseco’s plans to nuke Mars or send Triton colliding into it. The author described the idea as a whole as “insane” and the very notion of moving Triton “totally nuts.” Only two astrobiologists responded, and one refused to have their name associated with the discussion. Only one scientist, Kevin Casting, of Pennsylvania State University, would go on record with comments about Musk’s and Canseco’s plan to nuke Mars.
“… it’s unlikely that colliding Triton into Mars at any velocity could melt Mars’ core and restart the magnetic dynamo. Triton is about 1/30th of Mars’ mass, so most of the energy of the collision would likely go into vaporizing Triton itself, along with a fair chunk of Mars’ mantle. I doubt if the core would be greatly affected.”
On Friday, TSLA shares traded down 4.4 percent as it was announced that Elon Musk will be chairing and donating to a non-profit artificial intelligence initiative named OpenAI in a blog post by the group.
Besides serving as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk is also the chairman of SolarCity Corporation (NASDAQ: SCTY), for which his cousin, Lyndon Rive, serves as CEO. With OpenAI, Musk is adding a fourth high-profile position to his suite of roles.
SCTY shares are down 25 percent over the past 12 months. Wall Street analysts’ consensus SCTY EPS estimates have been continually brought down for fiscal 2015 and 2016. Currently, analysts are expecting a $8.02 loss in 2015 and an $8.78 loss in 2016. Just 90 days ago, those figures were seen at $7.27 and $7.80.
TSLA shares are up 6.6 percent over the past 12 months, and 24.4 percent from their high of $286.65 reached in July. Though Tesla is still expected to return to profitability in 2016, it appears as if it will be at a level lower than previously thought. Currently, analysts see Tesla reporting a loss of $1.26 in 2015 and EPS of $1.81 in 2016. Those views are down from a loss of $0.83 in 2015 and a profit of $2.44 in 2016.
The non-profit, Musk-backed AI initiative is presented as a altruistic pursuit. Somewhat as the for-profits Tesla, SolarCity, and SpaceX have been. Some investors have expressed concern that Elon Musk may be spreading himself too “thin”, as reported by G2. Why Musk is continuing to take on new initiatives while his current ones appear to be sputtering is somewhat of a mystery, their altruistic spirit and Jose Canseco’s endorsements notwithstanding.
[Feature Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images]