Billionaire Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of private spaceflight company SpaceX, is now planning on establishing a colony of 80,000 people on the planet Mars. No, this is not a joke, and yes it looks like the day may have finally come. The cost of the move? Only $500,000 per traveler.
According to Musk, the Mars settlement program would start with a small group of 10 pioneers that would journey to the Red Planet by rocket- a huge reusable rocket that is to be powered by liquid oxygen and methane.
On November 16th he told the Royal Aeronautical Society in London that, “At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,” while in town to receive the Society’s gold medal for contributions to the commercialization of space travel.
Large equipment would go along with the new Mars inhabitants- equipment that would allow them to build large pressurized domes that would allow Earth crops to grow in Martian soil. As the colony would grow, more people would join expanding the colony to potentially epic proportions.
All of this relies on one thing: a rocket that is not only big enough to transport large groups of space travelers, but also is able to take off and land vertically, as well as be entirely reusable.
Without such a rocket, space travel would never be cheap enough to realistically start a colony on Mars. Musk’s SpaceX is currently working on a prototype called Grasshopper that features his Falcon 9 boosters.
“It’s going to be much bigger [than Falcon 9], but I don’t think we’re quite ready to state the payload. We’ll speak about that next year,” Musk said.
Once the reusable rocket is set to go, it looks like we will have a chance to move to Mars. Chances are that it will be a possibility within the next decade or so. Where do I sign up?
Paul Hudson | Elite.