Elon Musk talks and tweets Mars travel a lot. He even flirted with the red planet over Twitter around Valentine’s Day this year.

His most recent comment about planet seemed uncharacteristically un-romantic, sounding like a breakup: “Nuke Mars!”

No, the romance is there, as strong as ever. Musk was again highlighting his belief that Mars can be transformed into a planet that can sustain human habitation with the help of nuclear weapons detonated at both ends. He and other terraforming advocates say the bombs would release massive amounts of CO2 from the Mars soil, warming the planet, as well as melt ice at the polar caps to create water. The Aug. 16 tweet was his latest mention of a plan he’s discussed over the years.

The PayPal and Tesla founder has launched a $25 t-shirt campaign called Nuke Mars, which refers to a continuous stream of low-fallout nuclear fusion explosions above the planet’s atmosphere. 

  • “Much like our sun, this would not cause Mars to become radioactive,” he tweeted on Aug. 20.
  • Scientists say Musk’s plan is unworkable.  Researchers for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration concluded in a study that terraforming the planet is impossible because “Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be put back into the atmosphere to warm Mars.”
  • Musk isn’t the only billionaire entrepreneur racing to explore space. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin’s Richard Branson have respectively founded space travel companies Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. Musk of course has SpaceX, his rocket company. 
  • Last week, Musk refined his idea of transforming Mars by raising the possibility of using “thousands of solar reflector satellites” as part of the effort. 

Karma Takeaway: Though his ideas sound crazy, the string of successes he has had makes it hard to completely disregard Elon Musk.