SpaceX is set to build the first human settlement on Mars, and it could arrive before the end of 2030. CEO of the company, Musk explained that the company’s plan to station a series of BFR rockets on Mars, alongside a permanent base and roads, could easily become reality by 2028.
Initially, Musk announced the plans in detail at the International Astronautical Congress in 2017. But, this announcement over the weekend is a huge update on their timescale and intentions. It was explained by Musk that he plans to send a couple of unmanned BFRs in 2022, followed swiftly by two more unmanned, and two manned BFRs in 2024. Musk himself has described the plans as “ambitious”.
That six-ship fleet of BFRs will potentially serve as a starting point, from which a much more ambitious colony can be built. Each individual ship has the capability of carrying 100 tonnes of supplies, which will be the materials for the planned homes initially. The passengers from the final two ships will have the mammoth task of extracting one tonne of ice per day, and then returning home with the fuel that they have harvested.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 29, 2017
While definitely ambitious, and seemingly impossible from the point of view of some readers (not me, I promise), this project is only the start, and will lay the groundwork for something much bigger – cities that offer greenhouses, life support, habitats, and an open environment for new experiments and research.
“The idea would be to expand out, start off not just with an outpost, but grow into a larger base, not just like there are in Antarctica, but really a village, a town, growing into a city and then multiple cities on Mars” Paul Wooster said earlier this month. Wooster is the principle Mars development engineer for SpaceX.
Not content with such ambitions, though, Elon Musk talked about his hopes for the project’s possibilities at the event, too. He said the BFR is “really intended as an interplanetary transport system that’s capable of getting from Earth to anywhere in the solar system as you establish propellant depots along the way.”
They do say shoot for the stars – we’re right behind you, Elon……at a safe and reasonable and “waiting to see what will happen” kinda distance.
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