Yesterday, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, made his Mars colonization plans public. His company will use a new spacecraft dubbed the Interplanetary Transport System to move one million people to Mars. Of course, the move will happen gradually, the spaceship being able to carry one hundred individuals at a time.
- The Interplanetary Transport System uses the Raptor engine technology.
- The costs of moving to the Red Planet are estimated somewhere around $200,000.
- The journey will not be a one-way trip.
According to his plan, the Interplanetary Transport System, which is a new reusable spacecraft, will be the principal instrument in the creation of the self-sustaining colony that Musk plans on building on the neighboring planet.
The plan is to use the ITS every 26 months when the planetary alignment is optimal for a journey between Earth and Mars. If SpaceX takes advantage of all of these intervals, then in 50 to 100 years, Musk’s dream colony will harbor one million individuals that live and die on the Red Planet.
Apart from the fact that SpaceX is making a journey to Mars possible in this lifetime, the company is also trying to make it affordable. Musk declared that his plan is to create reusable equipment that will lower the costs of a colonist to those of an average American house.
Currently, the trip to the Red Planet costs around $10 billion per individual, but the reusability component of the mission could lower the price at about $200,000. Moreover, if everything goes according to plan, Musk believes that the costs will drop under $100,000.
The architecture of the colony was not presented in great detail because SpaceX is currently trying to focus on the transportation issue. However, the billionaire scientist inventor-entrepreneur did talk about the plans of a solar-powered factory that will produce oxygen and methane, the core materials necessary for the functioning of the Raptor engine.
Because the ITS will make back and forth trips, the colonists who change their mind about living on the Red Planet will have the opportunity of coming back to Earth, meaning that they will not necessarily sign up for a one-way trip.
The SpaceX CEO mentioned that about five percent of SpaceX employees are engaged in the ITS project. This only serves to show that the right people can go a long way, in this case, to Mars and back.
Seeing as the cost of moving to Mars could prove equal to that of moving to a random city in the US, would you do it?
Image source: Wikipedia