Scientists Slam Elon Musk’s Plan for ‘Futuristic Noah’s Ark’ on Mars

Scientists say Elon Musk’s “Noah’s Ark” is less of a rescue mission and more of a murder boat. The world’s richest man says he wants to send animals to Mars as part of his plan to create a civilization there. Experts, though, say this idea is full of holes and doomed to sink.

Musk laid out his plans to move humans off of Earth in his Time Person of the Year interview this week. He believes his rocket company SpaceX would be able to land people on Mars within the next five years.

“The next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there,” he said. “Sort of like a futuristic Noah’s ark.”

Elon Musk believes that humans must leave Earth with its ever-dwindling resources for greener — or redder in this case — pastures.

“We don’t want to be one of those single planet species, we want to be a multi-planet species,” Musk said earlier this year at a SpaceX event.

Scientists Dismiss Elon Musk’s Idea as Far Fetched

Humans could possibly manage the vagueries and difficulties of living on another planet. Animals not so much.

“Mars, with its CO2 atmosphere, might be a good place to grow plants if they are kept warm and watered, but it would be a terrible place to drop off animals, who need oxygen to breathe,” scientist Roger Wiens told The Daily Mail. “Humans might be smart enough to don oxygen breathing systems, but would an animal be smart enough to adjust such a system if it was falling off its face? I don’t think so. We would end up with a lot of dead animals. Let’s try botanical gardens first.”

Other experts say that Elon Musk’s plans are wildly over-optimistic.

Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told the newspaper that moving animals to Mars would take centuries.

“If we are someday to build a human civilization on Mars that is self-sustaining, then yes, we will have to do the Noah’s Ark thing at some level,” he said. “Is Musk anywhere close to doing this? Not at all.”

Musk’s notion that humans could — and should — leave Earth got less pushback. Many scientists believe that climate change and our lack of political will to do anything about it could doom the species. But they disagree with how the Tesla founder is going about it. The idea that we must do this immediately is myopic and misleading, they say.

Though they appreciate someone moving the idea forward. Professor Dave Brain, an assistant professor of astrophysics and planetary science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said Musk could be part of the solution.

“It’s important to have big thinkers in society, and Elon Musk consistently thinks big,” he told The Daily Mail. “We don’t know how to do this yet, and it’s not clear that this is feasible for Mars,” he said. “But without people pushing on the idea, it will take a very long time to find an answer.’