Elon Musk announces plan to colonise Mars in two decades

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Billionaire space pioneer announces plan

to colonise Mars with 80,000 people in two decades





An ambitious billionaire has revealed his plans to colonise Mars - and charge 80,000 brave souls $500,000 to be flown there.
Elon Musk, the billionaire founder and CEO of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, has announced his vision for life on the Red Planet.
He says the settlement plan would start small, with a pioneering group of fewer than 10 people, who he would take there on a reusable rocket powered by liquid oxygen and methane.
Musk, already the first private space entrepreneur to launch a successful mission to the International Space Station this spring, says what would begin by first sending less than 10 people could blossom 'into something really big.'

'At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,' he told the Royal Aeronautical Society in London last week while awarded the society's gold medal for his contribution to the commercialization of space.
Laying out precise details and figures to his 'difficult' but 'possible' plans, the space pioneer says the first ferry of explorers would be no more than 10 people at a price tag of $500,000 (£312,110) per ticket.
'The ticket price needs to be low enough that most people in advanced countries, in their mid-forties or something like that, could put together enough money to make the trip,' he said.

Rather than lounging around on an interplanetary vacation, the passengers would be sent to work, carrying with them equipment to build sustainable housing on the dusty and currently barren soil for future generations.
Immediate ground work would focus on building transparent domes pressurized with CO2 while possibly covered in a layer of water to serve as protection from the sun.

With the CO2, Mars' soil would be capable of growing crops for food, he said.
Additional equipment carried over could also produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen using the atmosphere's natural elements of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and its surface of ice water.
Musk believes one person out of every 100,000 people would be interested in making the journey with 8 billion expected on Earth by time his plans become reality.
Still, the first step is getting man to the Red Planet, a mission he expects to be completed in the next 15 to 20 years.
Once that's established, phase two would require a SpaceX design of a 'rapid and reusable' vertical-landing rocket, calling this: 'the pivotal step to achieving a colony on Mars.'



Such a design is currently underway in his Falcon 9 rocket, he said, with it currently undergoing testing for vertical take-off and landing.
Named Grasshopper, the prototype has already made two short flights but they plan to 'gradually increase the altitude and speed' over the next few months until it's launched into orbit and back again.
'And it will take a while, I'm not sure how long it'll take but I'm hopeful that we can start to bring back the first stage in the next year or two,' he said while light-heartedly admitting: 'Those could be famous last words.'
Estimating his project to in all cost $36 billion, he's calculated in both private profits along with government aid of approximately .25 or .05 per cent of a nation's gross domestic product to make it a reality.
He says the project would be a 'fun adventure to watch even if you don't participate,' much like the lunar landing was in 1969.
But essentially, with its end result, he calls it: 'life insurance for life collectively.'
 

Phenom

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Day Dream,

I would probably take a century to reach that level.
 

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Yes its revolutionary and too radical an idea to believe, & this is exactly why it deserves a serious thought ,

Elon Musk b t w is no fool , he is the cofounder of Paypal
 

Phenom

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I think the timeline is unrealistic but still I would be absolutely thrilled to see it succeed. Even if they had only 800 or 80 people by 2030 it would still be a great achievement.

Here is another one with an even more ambitious timeframe.
Home - Mars One
 

jalsa

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It is a great idea to colonize MARS, but there are some issues to resolve before we think of sending man to Mars.

First thing is the journey time, it takes approximately 6 months to reach Mars when the two planets are closest to each other and journey time increases multiple times when the planets are at farthest point in their orbits. It is difficult for the humans to survive in outer space for six months with present day technology, they receive lethal doses of radiation on each day of journey especially when there are solar flares. The journey time must be reduced to at least three months and it is possible with ion propulsion.

The second thing is communication with Earthlings , it takes 8 minutes for a signal from mars to reach earth. We cannot really do much about it as nothing can travel faster than light.
 

Ray

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That is if the Chinese don't get there first and show all some ancient map they have preserved since the Big Bang!
 

jalsa

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The Chinese can claim any place in this universe, they are the rightful owners of everything god has created since beginning of time.
 

Illusive

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^^ Why unnecessarily drag China in this.

The project is too ambitious but good to see private players in this field, but the main aim should be trying to ship resources to earth rather than as a settlement.
 

Apollyon

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A little too ambitious and what are the benefits of a human colony in Mars ? Never gonna happen, may be a small base for research purpose but nothing more. :taunt:
 

W.G.Ewald

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Yes its revolutionary and too radical an idea to believe, & this is exactly why it deserves a serious thought ,

Elon Musk b t w is no fool , he is the cofounder of Paypal
Taking other people's money is not the mark of a technical genius.
 

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