SpaceX founder and tech billionaire Elon Musk is determined to have humans habitate Mars.

Musk just outlined his vision for manned missions to Mars, which he said could begin as soon as 2022 – three years sooner than his previous estimates.

Artist’s rendering of a Dragon-2 capsule on Mars (Image: SpaceX)

“What I really want to try to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible – like it’s something we can achieve in our lifetimes,” Musk told an audience in his keynote speech at the International Astronautical Congress.

Musk emphasized that colonizing Mars is essential to human history, saying there are “two fundamental paths” for the human race.

“One is that we stay on Earth forever and then there will be an inevitable extinction event,” Musk declared. “The alternative is to become a spacefaring civilization, and a multi-planetary species.”

The Guardian reports:

In order to achieve this goal, Musk outlined a multi-stage launch and transport system, including a reusable booster – like the Falcon 9, which SpaceX has already successfully tested – only much larger. The booster, and the “interplanetary module” on top of it, would be nearly as long as two Boeing 747 aircraft. It could initially carry up to 100 passengers, he said.

“Obviously it’s going to be a challenge to fund this whole endeavor,” Musk said. “Right now we’re trying to make as much progress with the resources we have, and keep moving forward.”

Musk then outlined how SpaceX can achieve it’s mission to Mars. In addition, Musk estimates the current cost of sending someone to Mars at “around $10 billion per person”.


Mars and Earth align every 26 months, which is the time the two planets are closest to each other — Musk wants to capitalize on that window: “The plan is to send a Dragon-2 to Mars in a few years, and then another in 2020,” Musk said. “We want to establish a steady cadence, with every Mars rendezvous.”

When Elon Musk was asked again about funding, Musk declared: “The reason I am personally accruing assets is to fund this. I really have no other purpose than to make life interplanetary.” Musk currently has an estimated net worth of 11.7 billion USD according to Forbes.

Mars is within reach and Musk wants to be the reason humans habitat the planet. You can read more about Musk’s plan here.


Photograph: Hector-Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images
Photograph: Hector-Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

Tell Hypeline what you think — What’s your reaction to Musk’s plan? Would you want to travel to Mars? Leave a comment below.


(H/T: The Guardian)

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