Life on Mars? NASA, Elon Musk quarrel over colonising red planet

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New Delhi:

Life on Mars? Well, that seems like a distant possibility now, more of an unlikely one as the billionaire tech titan and NASA have clashed over the concept of humans living on Mars in near future.

This week, NASA said that the prospect of making the surface of Mars habitable is not a realistic idea for the near future.

"Science fiction writers have long featured terraforming, the process of creating an Earth-like or habitable environment on another planet, in their stories," NASA says in a written statement released Monday.

“Scientists themselves have proposed terraforming to enable the long-term colonisation of Mars."

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However, it added, "transforming the inhospitable Martian environment into a place astronauts could explore without life support is not possible without technology well beyond today's capabilities".

The space agency said the temperature in Mars is too cold for liquid water and atmosphere too lean while citing a study by Bruce Jakosky.

One way to make Mars’ surface habitable is by releasing carbon dioxide and soil on Mars to create an atmosphere thick enough to warm it up and make liquid water a possibility on the surface.

"Our results suggest that there is not enough CO2 remaining on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming were the gas to be put into the atmosphere; in addition, most of the CO2 gas is not accessible and could not be readily mobilised.

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As a result, terraforming Mars is not possible using present-day technology," said Jakosky in a written statement released by NASA about the study.

However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that Mars can be a home to humans and he is already chalking out a plan to make it a reality as he provided a link to a study over social media featuring a NASA scientist with opposite perspective.

Earlier on 2017, Musk said that he plans to land two cargo ships on Mars by 2022. And, by 2024, Musk says he wants to sends passengers to Mars.

In December, President Donald Trump told NASA to prioritise reaching and doing more with Mars.

Meanwhile, Musk and ‘Boeing’ have injected billions into their mission to make Mars a colonised planet.

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