“I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet,” – Stephen Hawking.
Yesterday, billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled a crazy plan, a plan that will transport humans to Mars by 2022.
When I say transporting humans, I don’t mean like a couple of astronauts for research (although that will be the initial step) but like a hell lot of people.
Mr. Musk estimated it would cost $10 billion to develop the rocket, how such extravagantly expensive missions would be funded remains largely in the dark.
So How is SpaceX gonna achieve his Dream?
Taking the cost out of the picture, Musk claims that it would take only 80 days to reach the red planet. It will use something called Interplanetary Transport System, a reusable rocket which can be taken to deep corners of Solar System.
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.
Musk also outlined a system by which fuel could be synthesized on Mars from water and carbon dioxide in order to fuel return journeys to Earth.
Nasa said in a statement that it welcomed Musk’s plans. “NASA applauds all those who want to take the next giant leap – and advance the journey to Mars. We are very pleased that the global community is working to meet the challenges of a sustainable human presence on Mars. This journey will require the best and the brightest minds from government and industry, and the fact that Mars is a major topic of discussion is very encouraging.”
Optimistically, Musk says, we could be sending the first humans to Mars in a decade. In reality, SpaceX has not yet sent a single human into orbit or a single robotic spacecraft to Mars. Its rockets are still blowing up occasionally for reasons unknown, and its CEO is notoriously bad at meeting deadlines.
I don’t want to sound mean but his plan is clearly too dreamy right now. I mean SpaceX doesn’t even have sufficient budget to do this but if succeeds, it would be like a sci-fi fantasy brought to life.