SpaceX CEO Elon Musk released on Wednesday his plans for building a 1-million-person city on Mars as soon as 2020. The billionaire published a paper titled “Making Humanity a Multi-Planetary Species,” online on the site New Space.
The paper details his plans to send humans to Mars in the near future. Musk’s vision centers around building a reusable rocket and spaceship dubbed the Interplanetary Transport Systems (ITS). With this system, SpaceX would be able to send about ten people to the Red Planet.
Musk believes that flying various ITS craft to the planet would allow colonists to set up an outpost there quickly.
Elon Musk plans to send up to 1 million people to Mars using ITS rockets
The controversial CEO believes that over the next 40 to 100 years, the outpost could grow into a large self-sustaining city, which could house over 1 million people, thus creating a self-sustaining civilization on Mars. Animations created by SpaceX even suggest that they intend to start terraforming Mars, making it more resembling to Earth.
“In my view, publishing this paper provides not only an opportunity for the spacefaring community to read the SpaceX vision in print with all the charts in context, but also serves as a valuable archival reference for future studies and planning,” said Scott Hubbard, New Space’s editor-in-chief and NASA’s former “Mars czar”, according to The Daily Caller.
SpaceX’s rockets will be around 400 feet tall, which would make them the largest rockets in history. The paper claims that the rocket will be as larger and stronger than the Saturn V rocket, which NASA sent to the moon. The ITS should be capable of carrying 450 tons of cargo into Mars.
SpaceX’s CEO expects to send the first missions to the Red Planet no later than 2020
Musk has kept to himself the technical details of his rocket, but he did say that the ITS will be capable of traveling beyond Mars.
“There is a huge amount of risk,” wrote Musk, according to The Daily Caller. “It is going to cost a lot. There is a good chance we will not succeed, but we are going to do our best and try to make as much progress as possible.”
Musk admitted that the feat would be extremely expensive to undertake on his own, but he said that he plans to sort out the financial issues later, possibly by convincing NASA to fund him. The billionaire expects to send the first missions to the Red Planet in 2018 or 2020.
His plan also includes drastically cutting the costs of sending a human to Mars from $10 billion to around $200,000. Musk has not specified how he plans to do this, although he has mentioned that fully reusable rockets, orbital refueling and producing rocket fuel directly on the Red Planet would be involved. SpaceX recently launched a reusable rocket for the first time in history.
Source: The Daily Caller