Elon Musk is serious about getting you to Mars. He has just released a free paper in the New Space Journal that outlines how he is going to get you there and even what you’ll do on the way. Musk is adamant the journey that he predicts he can get down to 80 days would be full of fun and adventure.
“In order to make it appealing […] it has got to be really fun and exciting – it cannot feel cramped or boring,” Musk writes. He describes the inside of the rocketship as a place to play zero gravity games, go to movies, attend lectures and eat pizza.
[Image Source: SpaceX]
Musk first announced his plans to ultimately colonize Mars in September 2016. This most recent announcement is the first time we have heard about the details of the plan. Some sound a little crazy, others are getting down to the serious science business of the plan.
Humans must become multi-planetary species
Even though Musk is most famous for revolutionizing solar and electric power, he is still a little dismal about the future of the plant, saying, “History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event. The alternative is to become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species, which I hope you would agree is the right way to go.”
He wants to achieve his idea of a ‘multi-planetary species’ by building what he has called an Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).The ITS comprises of massive reusable rockets. Musk aims to have 1 million people in Mars within a century.
A ticket to Mars to cost the same as a house
If this is really achievable divides scientists everywhere. Musk’s space exploration company SpaceX wants to send unmanned missions to Mars as soon as 2020, with a manned mission not far behind. What is really holding back the mission on a larger scale is cost. Space exploration is insanely expensive and if Musk wants his new Mars citizens to pay for their trip he knows his work is cut out to lower the price.
“If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high. I think it would almost certainly occur.”
Musk’s plan to ship all these people to Mars is ambitious. He plans to create huge rockets that are reusable for up to 1000 times. But not just one rocket. “You would ultimately have upwards of 1,000 or more spaceships waiting in orbit,” he said. “Hence, the Mars Colonial fleet would depart en masse.”
Mars and Earth align in a way that would allow for the trip to be made economically only once every two years so the window is quite small to get huge amounts of people there. Musk predicts it could take as long as “40–100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization.”
Mars might not be enough for Musk, he has already flagged plans for life on Jupiter’s moons Europa and Enceladus. Stay tuned for more Musk interplanetary news soon.