Elon Musk announced on Twitter today that a round trip ticket to Mars will cost $500,000, putting a figure on what the SpaceX founder sees as the cost of relocating to the Red Planet.
Half a Million Will Get You to Mars and Back…Maybe
Very dependent on volume, but I’m confident moving to Mars (return ticket is free) will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k. Low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 11, 2019
In a Twitter thread about the successful force testing of the Raptor rocket engine, Musk replied to a question from Twitter user @SPEXcast, who asked what Musk anticipated the price of a ticket to the Moon or Mars would cost.
Musk responded by saying the ticket price will be “[v]ery dependent on volume, but I’m confident moving to Mars (return ticket is free) will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k. Low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want.”
This is certainly an ambitious target. The most recent trip to the surface of Mars, NASA’s Curiosity Rover, cost around 2.5 billion dollars. While volume will certainly make up for some of the price differential—as Musk suggests in his tweet—it’s still an open question just how much volume there will be at that price point.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space plane, which will offer tourists a weightless, low-Earth orbital experience for a few minutes, will cost more than $200,000 a ticket, as will Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin space tourism capsule.
Musk’s Love Affair With Mars
I want you too baby https://t.co/Lxi0LQz5rc— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 8, 2019
Musk, however, is determined to make it happen.
Besides flirting with Mars’ Twitter account, Elon Musk has made travel to Mars the major endeavor of his life, more so than even revolutionizing the electric vehicle.
SpaceX was reportedly founded out of Musk’s disappointment after learning that NASA had indefinitely delayed a planned mission to Mars in 2003, and he has since been building up SpaceX with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars.
Starship, the vessel he hopes will one day ferry people back and forth between Earth and Mars is currently under development in Texas. Recent tests have been promising, and Starship and it’s companion Super Heavy rocket system are integrating a whole host of innovative technologies from a new regenerative heat shield to the Raptor rocket engine currently being tested in Texas.