SpaceX Founder Unveils Plans for an Extraterrestrial Colony on Mars --"Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species"
SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk will outline a plan on Today at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico for building an extraterrestrial settlement on the Mars and make "humans a multiplanetary species." Musk views Mars as a "backup drive" for humanity.
"During a special keynote entitled 'Making humans a multiplanetary species', Musk will discuss the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars," said the International Astronautical Congress. "The technical presentation will focus on potential architectures for colonizing the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead."
A research village could be built on the Moon to serve as a "stepping stone" to a Mars mission, European Space Agency chief Jan Woerner said at a news conference on Monday. "To go to Mars means also to use the resources over there and this can be also tested on (the) Moon."
The image below is an artist's impression of a planned colony on the Red Planet, which would begin with the touchdown of four people in 2025 and continuing growing thereafter. (Credit: Bryan Versteeg/Mars One)
SpaceX has designed the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket, which could send a manned Dragon spacecraft into space.
The company plans to launch the 70-meter (230-foot) tall rocket, which has a liftoff thrust equivalent to 18 Boeing 747 jets, later this year.
SpaceX was hit by a setback on September 1 when its smaller Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during a test in Florida, destroying a satellite Facebook had planned to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa.
SpaceX had previously logged 18 successful Falcon 9 launches.
"It's unlikely that (Musk) will be able to get humans on Mars by 2025," John Logsdon, former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said, noting that Musk has wrongly forecast the launch of SpaceX rockets in the past. SpaceX would have to team up with a state space agency to afford such a mission, he said. "Bottom line is the cost. You're talking of tens of billions of dollars and SpaceX doesn't have that type of money."
Nasa has made public its "Journey to Mars" program; Hilary Clinton has said that if she is elected US president one of her aims will be to "advance our ability to make human exploration of Mars a reality".
The Daily Galaxy via AFP, The Verge, and the Telegraph