GUADALAJARA: SpaceX chief Elon Musk unveiled on Tuesday ambitious plans to establish a
“city” on Mars by sending humans on massive spacecraft with cabins, at a cost as low as $100,000 per person (political news).
Taking the stage under a large globe of Mars at the International Astronautical Congress, Musk
showed his vision for a giant rocket that would propel men and women to the Red Planet “in our lifetime.”
“We need to go from these early exploration missions to actually building a city,” he also said to an overflow crowd at
an expo center with a few thousand seats in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara.
Moreover, musk showed a futuristic video depicting his concept of an interplanetary transport system based on re-usable
rockets, a propellant farm on Mars and 1,000 spaceships on orbit, carrying about 100 people each.
The spacecraft would have a restaurant, cabins, zero-gravity games and movies.
“It has to be fun or exciting. It can’t feel cramped or boring,” he also said.
The first flight would be expensive but the aim is “making this affordable to almost anyone who
wants to go,” by dropping the price of a ticket over time to $100,000, Musk said.
Millions of tons of cargo would also need to blast off aboard a powerful rocket, which he described as a
“scaled-up version of the Falcon 9 booster,” the company’s current rocket system that can land vertically.
Furthermore, the South Africa-born Canadian-American entrepreneur said the plan would require a “huge
public-private partnership” to establish a self-sustaining human civilization on Mars.
SpaceX has said it plans to send an unmanned Dragon cargo capsule to Mars as early as 2018, paving the
way for a human mission that would leave Earth in 2024 and arrive on the Red Planet the following year.
The rocket would take a spaceship into orbit, release it and land back on Earth to pick up a fuel tanker, which it
would immediately take back up to the craft to fuel its journey to Mars, Musk said.