It was declared impossible just weeks ago: scientists studying Mars have found there's simply not enough frozen carbon dioxide or water there to create a viable atmosphere.
Elon Musk immediately rejected the notion. With characteristic bravado, he asserted
He gave no research to back his claim.
Mars, it seems, had better not disappoint Musk.
"There's a massive amount of CO2 on Mars adsorbed into soil that'd be released upon heating," he tweeted last week. "With enough energy via artificial or natural (sun) fusion, you can terraform almost any large, rocky body."
He was contradicting a University of Colorado Boulder study which said the exact opposite.
The analysis of all available sensor data from the Red Planet indicates there is simply not enough frozen carbon dioxide to create the atmospheric pressure around Mars necessary to keep water in its liquid state.
It comes on the recent discovery of a liquid water lake beneath Mars' south pole. While encouraging in itself, it's also quite small — just some 30km across. This also indicates there may not be enough water available to melt into rivers, lakes and oceans necessary for an ecosphere.
But, it seems, nothing is going to stop the SpaceX founder.
His plans to combine his existing rockets into a big, new Big 'Falcon' Rocket (the 'F' word is probably the expletive) are proceeding afoot.
Now Ars Technica says it has seen an invite for a "Mars Workshop" being held at the University of Colorado Boulder. Yes, the same university that declared his dream to be an impossibility.
SpaceX has reportedly confirmed the event, stating the company regularly consults experts on issues relating to its Mars mission.
This, however, is no small event. It is believed to involve some 60 top-level scientists and engineers, as well as some of NASA's Mars program leaders.
And the invite stipulates they must not publicise the workshop in any way, nor the fact they are attending.
Key on the agenda is how to sustain humans on Mars. What natural resources are available, and where. How can these be accessed, and refined.
It's likely to be somewhat more refined that Musk's own direct approach: he wants to drop nuclear bombs on the north and south pole to melt the ices frozen there.
This, he believes, will release them into the atmosphere — forming a new atmosphere which can eventually lead to a green Mars.
Musk will be in for some more bad news.
One wonders what his 'Plan B' will be now that there is no prospect of a 'Planet B'.