Elon Musk can forget about his dream of colonizing and transforming Mars for human settlement, at least according to Bill Nye.
The popular science commentator told USA Today that the entire idea of making the Red Planet more Earth-like is purely the stuff of "science fiction."
"This whole idea of terraforming Mars, as respectful as I can be, are you guys high?" Nye said. "We can't even take care of this planet where we live, and we're perfectly suited for it, let alone another planet."
The science educator also ruled out the idea of living on Mars permanently.
"Nobody's gonna go settle on Mars to raise a family and have generations of Martians," Nye, who appears on National Geographic Channel's series "MARS," explained. "It's not reasonable because it's so cold. And there is hardly any water. There's absolutely no food, and the big thing, I just remind these guys, there's nothing to breathe."
Although the National Geographic Channel series depicts humans living on Mars, Nye doesn't agree with it.
"People disagree with me on this, and the reason they disagree is because they're wrong," he added, noting that while scientists are even stationed on Antarctica during the cold winter months, no one lives there permanently.
Scientists have long dreamed of setting up research bases on the Red Planet. NASA even held a competition to see what such infrastructure could look like. Bezos has been a longtime proponent of space tourism and putting settlements on the Moon via his efforts with his space exploration company, Blue Origins. Musk, who runs SpaceX in addition to Tesla, called for a colony on Mars at South By Southwest last year as a way to prevent a new dark age.
Nye said living in a dome just isn't feasible.
"When you leave your dome, you're gonna put on another dome, and I think that will get old pretty quick," he said. "Especially the smell in the spacesuit – all the Febreze you can pack, I think it will really help you up there."
The Red Planet does share some similarities with Earth, such as ice caps and seasons, and has captured the imagination of humanity since the dawn of the space age.
But as for the exploration of Mars, Nye is on board.
"I want to find evidence of life on another world in my lifetime, so Mars in the next logical place to look," he said. "People say what are you gonna find there? We don't know, and that's why we go and explore the unknown horizon."
This story was updated on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 to clarify information about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' space exploration plans.