Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, has revealed his company’s plan to transport humans to Mars.
Reasons why it’s important to colonize Mars
By Elon Musk, President and CEO of SpaceX This has been a dream of humanity for a long time.
I just want to make sure that we’re setting our sights appropriately and not missing anything because we’ll be revisiting these questions in a few years. When I was thinking about what to do next, I didn’t want to start another company; it just didn’t feel like something I wanted to do again.
But when you look at life extension technology—really understanding what it takes to make someone healthy—and rethinking all the possible causes of disease, that’s something we should do as humans no matter what. We have a duty to other sentient life forms to help them flourish too. What would most affect the future of humanity? Most people would say space travel or artificial intelligence — but I would pick longevity and an independent planet. Getting out there is extremely important for making sure everything is good on Earth and making sure that humanity survives long-term. The main reason why we haven’t had a space program over these last few decades is that it was too expensive—it used up more moneythan anyone could imagine without getting much useful work done within any reasonable cost frame.
Why Elon Musk is the right person to lead this mission
Despite his knack for publicity, there’s no question that Elon Musk is one of Earth’s most visionary inventors. The creator of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX has successfully launched rockets into space and launched a new era in private space travel. In fact, his company SpaceX just reached an agreement with NASA to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station from American soil again. So when Musk speaks on topics such as Mars colonization, it’s worth listening to what he has to say.
There’s no doubt that Musk wants to colonize Mars — and he believes it can be done with today’s technology. He estimates that building a self-sustaining civilization will cost around US$200,000 per person, which could make things very interesting here on Earth if successful. Will we have billionaires moving away to outer space while billions remain trapped on their home planet? Let’s hope not. But according to Musk, colonization isn’t only necessary – it’s inevitable. He predicts that humanity will become multi-planetary within a century due to overpopulation and climate change threats at home… It seems highly likely that Musk will eventually succeed in making it happen sooner rather than later.
How long will it take?
SpaceX hopes to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets, a feat that would significantly reduce launch costs. It will also likely be launching its initial ships with humans on board from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center rather than Vandenberg Air Force Base, located farther north in California. The plan will require substantial testing before anyone sets foot on Mars. But for Musk, that’s all part of his long-term goal: Making life multi-planetary, he said at today’s news conference. That is the important thing for humanity overall.
It will be difficult, risky and there will be some casualties along the way … but it is possible to do it. I think we should do it. And if we don’t do it, ultimately we are doomed. There’s not another planet to move to. And so really our only option is to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species. Because otherwise if we stay on one planet…we’re inevitably going to go extinct eventually.
How SpaceX could get there so quickly
There are many other plans being made by other companies, organizations, and governments to explore space, especially with missions related to life on other planets. The European Space Agency (ESA) is also planning a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa which is considered a prime candidate for life in our solar system due to its subsurface ocean that scientists say could support life as we know it. They are also working on technology for missions like sending smaller craft farther into space and potentially building bases on asteroids or planets. Another plan from SpaceX called Red Dragon would send people to Mars using existing technologies such as their Falcon Heavy rocket.
The SpaceX Red Dragon mission is currently still in development and may not go ahead, but could be a sign of what’s to come from Elon Musk. SpaceX also recently filed an application with US regulators to send 4,425 satellites into space as part of a project known as Starlink. The main goal is to provide global internet access using these satellites however it will also help with tracking for missions like NASA’s TESS and other Earth observation projects. It’s just another one of his many plans that are slowly becoming reality.
What are other plans being made by other companies, organizations, and governments?
NASA has announced plans to travel to Mars by 2030. SpaceX, a private space exploration company, is also working on a plan to establish a life in outer space. Their goals align with those of NASA: send humans to colonize Mars as early as 2025. CEO Elon Musk detailed his vision for a self-sustaining city on Mars during an interview and received considerable applause from audiences.
Here are some highlights of his proposal that was released after his talk.
Why we should go to Mars?
We have made it quite clear that we want to be a multi-planet species and so, ultimately becoming a spacefaring civilization and then being out there among the stars. It’s not about just being able to explore but eventually coming back to Earth, standing on your home planet -Mars-, looking up and saying: We did it!
What would life on Mars be like?
Life on Mars would be very different from life on Earth. Mars has much lower gravity, which means that people who move there will experience major physical changes over time. Life on Mars also presents major challenges for human survival. At current levels of technological advancement, it would not be possible to grow food outside for long periods of time because of high UV radiation and dust storms. However, scientists say that if humans could live inside underground or in domes with food grown inside, then living on Mars might not be too challenging.
Thanks to research done by missions like Curiosity, we already have some good information about what life might be like on Martian soil—it’s fairly alkaline and similar to earth soil in some ways. In fact, tests have shown that some types of bacteria are able to survive on Mars without any problem! On top of that, water ice is sometimes exposed at various locations around Mars during certain times of the year. This opens up even more possibilities for life as well as other forms of potential colonization (growing plants and sustaining a large population). It all comes down to technology but I think it’s a matter of when not if.
SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity founder Elon Musk revealed on Tuesday his updated plans to colonize Mars, a step he thinks is necessary for humans to avoid extinction. The tech entrepreneur said he envisions 1 million people living on Mars in 40 to 100 years, with as many as 10 billion people living on several planets. Currently, there are an estimated 200,000 people who have permanently left Earth’s atmosphere. At SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California today (Sept. 27), Musk detailed his revised vision for colonization of other planets using technology that could be available within our lifetimes.
At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big, Musk said at a talk in Mexico. The CEO of SpaceX went on to explain how to make Mars livable for humans over time. The first step would be using colossal reusable spaceships—called BFRs (Big Fucking Rockets)—and solar panels to transport people and materials to Mars. Next, temporary shelters would be built using glass panes and carbon dioxide collectors on the planet’s surface—and eventually, terraformers would change the atmosphere to make it breathable.
In order to finance his ambitious space vision, which may cost as much as $10 billion a year for decades, Musk said he’s going to refocus his energy business: In 2018, he plans to begin deploying first BFRs. Later in 2019 and 2020, he’ll set up launch sites on both coasts of America—using vertical takeoff and landing (VTVL) technology—and in a handful of other countries that include Japan and Australia. And finally, by 2022 SpaceX will have 4 BFR vehicles flying at any given time—while 2 others are in their final construction phase.
The timetable for all of these projects is very aggressive, which is why some critics of SpaceX have suggested it might be too big to succeed. But as The Boring Company and Tesla have shown, sometimes Musk’s seemingly improbable projects can become real-life products in surprisingly short order. So while a red planet colony may sound like science fiction today, many experts agree that it will be possible within our lifetimes. As National Geographic put it: It’s not a matter of if we go to Mars—it’s a matter of when.