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The billionaire hoping to send men to Mars says we'll need to nuke it first

If we want to live there that is.

Elon Musk Elon Musk

ELON MUSK, THE CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has an idea for how to colonize Mars and make it habitable for humankind.

On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”  Colbert compared Musk to Tony Stark, the fictional tech tycoon who also happens to be Iron Man. ”Are you really trying to save the world?” Colbert asked Musk.

Colbert then asked Musk why people should want to live on Mars. Mars is “a fixer-upper of a planet,” Musk replied.

But people could theoretically live there, he said, by warming it up in one of two ways.

The fastest way to heat up Mars, according to Elon Musk, is to ”drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles.” The slower way would be to introduce greenhouse gases to Mars to warm it up over a number of years.

Source: Allen Meade/YouTube

“You’re a supervillain!” Colbert said in response. “Superman doesn’t say ‘let’s drop nuclear bombs.’ That’s Lex Luthor, man.”

Besides discussing the possibility of nuking Mars to make it hospitable for humans, Colbert told his studio audience that he thinks Musk should run for US president. Musk’s particular vision of the future — dropping nuclear bombs on Mars to make it more habitable and all — “truly moved” Colbert, he said.

The notion of dropping nuclear bombs on Mars to make it habitable is only one of Musk’s stranger ideas. He’s also voiced his concern about robots potentially destroying humankind. To that end, he’s pledged $10 million for research to make sure AI doesn’t turn out evil.

- Maya Kosoff

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