Nuking Mars even before mankind has set foot there is a breathtakingly stupid idea. It is one of the dumbest ideas ever set forward and is worthy of an Ignoble Prize. That the otherwise intelligent and creative billionaire engineer corporate innovator (Space X) made the gaff is the wondrous paradox. It is a kind of bi-polar intellectual product that is the antipode of Elon Musk’s good ideas.
That any human being would suggest nuking one of Earth’s nearest neighbors even before Democrats declare it too friendly to Russians says something about the human condition. What about nuking GJ 357 d that is orbiting a small star just 31 light years away and is a super-earth in size? Nuking that planet could become a great human project, and it would require a fast propulsion system leading to derivative tech benefits. That world could be nuked within a century if humans put their backs to it.
- N.A.S.A. discovered other planets that might merit a good nuking
- The star Proxima Centauri has a few worlds that just may need nukular carpet-bombing to become paradises fit for billionaires- these little gems are just a few light years distant and can be given special delivery packages dirt cheap. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2019/04/11/four-earth-like-planets-close-to-solar-system-could-all-host-alien-life/#2076503162ba
Terraforming a planet would require some substantial amount of intelligent thought. Star Trek had a terraform bomb in one of its films yet that is probably quite a way out.
Mars need be carefully studied in its natural condition and kept in a natural condition as much as possible except where humans live under domes and other artificial constructs- even artificial mountains and underground. Scientists need study it any way, in detail for centuries to learn what can be learned about it. Nuking Mars would F it all up and probably pollute the water and ice such as does exist.
Warming Mars up artificially is another bad idea. It would etherialize water that would be lost into space. Space-heaters for Mars with mirrors is a devastatingly bad idea. Water and ice on Mars and the Moon should be conserved and regarded as important as water to a desert dweller.