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SpaceX 'Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species', Elon Musk Reveals Plan to Colonize Mars

Sep 28, 2016 04:02 AM EDT
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Unveils Company's New Manned Spacecraft, The Dragon V2
Elon Musk just revealed the steps SpaceX would take to be able to send humans to Mars.
(Photo : Jessica Fenol)

Real-life Tony Stark did not disappoint. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hinted about the "pretty crazy" stuff he will reveal during his press with regard to his plans to colonize Mars. The commercial space flight industry tycoon recently delivered his highly anticipated speech "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species" and it is primarily based on the believe that one day, the end of the world will come.

"I don't have a doomsday prophesy," SpaceX CEO and businessman Elon Musk said during a press conference at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. "But history suggests some doomsday event will happen," Musk added.

This is the premise Musk discussed to make the audience understand why man needs to become a multiplanetary species. The exploration of Mars is the next best thing to Earth in terms of supporting Earth life.

During the conference, Musk reiterated that Mars is the best choice for a second habitable planet within the Solar System due to the presence of essential elements vital in making life thrive like some form of gasses and icy water. Mars also has more gravity compared to the moon making it a much better option for habitability.

However, in order to build a community on Mars, Musk discussed the importance of cutting the cost of Earth-to-Mars travel. He emphasized some very important points in order to lower the cost so more people will be able to go to Mars. His first estimate for each ticket to Mars is about $10 billion per person, but he plans on changing that.

The first key to making Martian travel easier in the pocket is to fully develop reusable rockets that will fly from Earth to Mars every 26 months or roughly every two years. To cut back on wasted time and fuel, Musk want to establish a system so the spacecraft that can take humans to Mars will be able to refill in orbit. Choosing the right propellant is also very important because it will power the rocket that will initiate multiplanetary travel. Lastly, Musk said that in order to make the cost even lower, they will have to devise a way to produce propellant on Mars.

SpaceX Multiplanetary Transport System

The commercial space flight industry is developing a transporter that can help SpaceX achieve its goal of making Mars tickets cheaper. Once the transport system is finished, Musk estimates that it could lower the ticket price to $200,000 per person, according to Wired. The SpaceX multiplanetary rocket is designed to carry 100 people to Mars plus cargo.

Last week, SpaceX also successfully test-fired its Raptor engine that will help the company send people to Mars. SpaceX plans to build a fleet of super engines propelled by "supersonic retropropulsion" that is designed to cut travel time from Earth to Mars to just 80 days.

There's No Turning Back

NASA is supporting SpaceX and its mission to Mars. The Red Dragon spacecraft, an unmanned mission to the red planet, is scheduled for launch in 2018. By 2024, Musk might send the first set of crew to Mars that will reach the planet by 2025.

But despite his confidence with his Mars colonization plans, there is one thing Musk cannot guarantee. Apparently, there's a price to pay to experience this adventure of a lifetime.

"The risk of fatality will be high. There's no way around it. Basically, are you prepared to die, and if that's OK then you're a candidate for going," Musk said during the presentation. Anyone interested in flying to Mars.

But there's nothing to worry about, according to Musk he plans to reuse his innovative super rockets and they all need to go back to Earth, therefore there will be room for Martian crew to hop in.

In the mean time, while the company is still working on its Mars transporter system, Musk will proceed with the 2018 unmanned mission to Mars using the Red Dragon aboard the Falcon Heavy Rocket.


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