Astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees says plans to send humans to Mars is a “dangerous delusion”. He was speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Wednesday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Two renowned scientists have dismissed suggestions that humans could live on Mars over the long-term and even called tech-billionaire Elon Musk’s prediction a ‘dangerous delusion’ that a million people will soon live on the Red Planet.

Speaking during the World Government Summit Dialogues in Dubai on Wednesday, Lord Martin Rees, astrophysicist, cosmologist and 60th president of The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, said: “The only reason for humans to go to space would be for adventure. To live on Mars is not going to be easy. Mars has a hostile environment. So, the idea of Elon Musk to have a million people settle on Mars is a dangerous delusion. Living on Mars is no better than living on the South Pole or the tip of Mount Everest.”

'Unrealistic' plan

Another popular astrophysicist, Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, added “Musk’s plan is unrealistic.” He explained: “To ship a billion people to another planet to help them survive a catastrophe on Earth seems unrealistic. If you want to call Mars home, you need to terraform Mars – turn it into Earth (to support life). It is, however, much easier to make Earth return to Earth again rather than terraforming Mars.”

World’s backyard

Dr. Tyson and Lord Rees, meanwhile, both remarked it’s always a go for space exploration and collaboration. Inter-planetary exploration is essential since the solar system is the “world’s backyard”.

Dr. Tyson said: “Space is for everyone and the solar system is like the world’s backyard. So, it’s great to see that collaborations are becoming important in space exploration and countries are coming together to share knowledge and resources.”