Musk plans for offworld colonies
A PLAN to have a Mars City of a million people has been outlined in Adelaide by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk as he also revealed his plans for a base on the moon.
He plans to use a rocket bigger than an A380 plane to send 100 people at a time – with two or three people per cabin – to Mars.
Ultimately he hopes to create a sustainable population of about a million.
Mr Musk said his company SpaceX has begun serious work on the BFR (Big F---ing Rocket) as he plans an Interplanetary Transport System.
He is trying to drive down the cost by reusing parts and improving technology. But he also says he has an idea on how to pay for it all. And it can be as cheap as a plane ticket for a seat in economy.
In Adelaide for the International Astronautical Congress, he talked about humans “becoming a multiplanet species”.
He has previously written that history shows eventually we will meet a doomsday scenario that will wipe us out, but today he said it was more aspirational. “I can’t think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars,” he said.
He also said a lunar base was past due.
“It’s 2017. We should have a lunar base by now. What the hell is going on?”
Mr Musk talked about the key technical capabilities SpaceX has been working on, such as the spaceship materia als and how to land perfectly on the moon or Mars. He first revealed his plans to go t to Mars last year.
Mr Musk says SpaceX can l launch two cargo missions by 2022; the estimate has previously been about a decade for the first Mars mission.
Four more – including two manned trips – will follow two years later.
Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin – which is working on a Mars project with NASA – has also updated its plans and revealed its concept of a Mars Base Camp. “Today we have the capability to make it a reality,” said Lisa Callahan from Lockheed Martin.
ROCKET MAN: Elon Musk.