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Science
16 Jun 2017

Human colonies on Mars possible: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

Is colonization on Mars possible within our lifetimes?

In a recent study, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has outlined his plan for building a self-sustaining city on Mars.

He claimed human colonies on the red planet could be built within the next 40-100 years.

Musk explored the options to expand into a space-bearing civilization and described the advantages offered by Mars.

Have a look at Musk's plan to colonize Mars!

In context

Is colonization on Mars possible within our lifetimes?

Elon Musk's statement

"By talking about the SpaceX Mars architecture, I want to make Mars seem possible - make it seem as though it is something that we can do in our lifetime. There really is a way that anyone could go if they wanted to."

Plan to make humans an interplanetary species

Plans

Plan to make humans an interplanetary species

In the study published in the journal New Space, Musk provided a comprehensive review of the system architecture for a spaceship and rocket to transport people and supplies to the red planet.

He also compared possible vehicle designs and performance features.

At present, scientists and engineers are facing a major challenge to reduce the cost-per-tonne of transportation by five million percent.

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Doosmday

There will be doomsday event, says Musk

Musk stated, "History is going to bifurcate along two directions."

He said one path is staying on Earth forever where there will be some eventual extinction event.

According to him, the alternative path is to become "a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species."

He added that he hopes people would agree the alternative path is the right way to go.

"Would be quite fun to be on Mars"

Life at Mars

"Would be quite fun to be on Mars"

Musk claims colonization of the Moon is also possible but Mars is a better choice.

Mars's atmosphere is primarily made of carbon dioxide useful to grow plants.

It receives a decent amount of sunlight; its gravity is around 37% of Earth's.

He added we need to shift the populations as there are "seven billion people on Earth and none on Mars."

Mars base will be launchpad for further space exploration: Musk

"By establishing a propellant depot on the asteroid belt or on one of the moons of Jupiter, you can make flights from Mars to Jupiter. This basic system, provided we have filling stations along the way, means full access to the entire greater solar system."

Obstacles

Obstacles to self-sustaining city on Mars

The SpaceX founder said there are many obstacles to overcome, including the cost of reaching Mars.

He added self-sustaining civilization cannot be created if the ticket is priced at $10bn per person and aims to bring it down to $200,000.

To reduce the cost, he suggested reusing materials, refueling in orbit to maximize payload, and starting propellant production units on Mars.

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