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No, Elon Musk Can't Legally Nuke Mars – Space Lawyer Explains Why

Tesla Motors, Inc. NASDAQ:TSLA - No, Elon Musk Can't Legally Nuke Mars – Space Lawyer Explains Why

SpaceX and Tesla Motors Inc TSLA 0.85%’s Elon Musk appeared on Stephen Colbert’s "Late Show" on Wednesday night, catching the anchorman and viewers by surprise when he proposed firing thermonuclear weapons at Mars to make it more Earth-like.

This may sound like a joke, but Musk was actually being serious. Mars is "a fixer-upper of a planet," he assured. There are two ways to make it more hospitable, he continued: a slow one (releasing greenhouse gases until temperatures drop) and a fast one (dropping nukes at the planet’s poles).

Is It Legal?

Benzinga contacted Space Lawyer James E. Dunstan of Mobius Legal Group, PLLC, who provided the “Chapter and Verse” on why Elon Musk can’t take a nuke to Mars.

He explained that:

  • UN Resolution 1884 (XVIII) (1963) called on all nations “to refrain from placing in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, installing such weapons on celestial bodies, or stationing such weapons in outer space in any other manner.”
  • The 1963 Nuclear Weapon Test Ban Treaty states that the countries involved undertake to “prohibit, prevent and not carry out any...