Russian space chief: Elon Musk's plan to bomb Mars is a cover to put nuclear weapons in space

Russian space chief: Elon Musk's plan to bomb Mars is a cover to put nuclear weapons in space
© Getty

SpaceX founder Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskHow competition will make the new space race flourish What James Van Allen got wrong about NASA's International Space Station Trump drags mild-mannered regulator into political firefight MORE's idea to bomb Mars to terraform the environment and make it suitable for humans to live on is a ploy to launch nuclear weapons in space, according to Russia's space chief on Wednesday.

The South African-born tech entrepreneur has been interested in hitting Mars with a nuclear weapon since at least 2015, according to Business Insider.

According to his theory, he says the heat generated by the bombs could cause the planet's polar ice caps to melt and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, triggering a rapid greenhouse effect that raises the planet's temperature and air pressure to the point of supporting human life.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian state space agency Roscosmos, said Musk's plan is a cover-up for sending nuclear bombs into space, according to The Moscow Times.

"We understand that one thing is hidden behind this demagogy: This is a cover for the launch of nuclear weapons into space," Rogozin told a pro-Kremlin television pundit Vladimir Solovyov.

Rogozin called Musk's idea "inhumane" and said it would "destroy" the planet.

"We see such attempts, we consider them unacceptable, and we will hinder this to the greatest extent possible," Rogozin said, saying that international regulations prohibit any weapon deployment in space.

Roscosmos Executive Director for Advanced Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko told the state-run TASS news agency earlier this month that Musk's plan would need 10,000 nuclear warheads, to which Musk replied: "No problem" on Twitter.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

According to The Moscow Times, Rogozin and Musk have butted heads in the past over accusations that SpaceX was trying to push Moscow out of the carrier rockets market by lowering prices for commercial space flights.

Rogozin's remarks come one day after SpaceX scrubbed the launch of its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station due to unsuitable weather conditions. 

The new launch is slated for Saturday afternoon. If it is successful, it will show the U.S. is no longer dependent on Russia's Soyuz rockets for future space flights.