Tesla founder Elon Musk outlines plans for Mars colonisation
20 Jun 2017
Tesla founder Elon Musk has elaborated specific plans for the colonisation of Mars as published in the June issue of the journal New Space.
According to commentators, Musk's moonshot ideas - the hyperloop super-fast ground transportation, connecting human brains to computers, tunneling to make the hyperloop and other forms of fast transportation possible - all went beyond science fiction in that companies were formed, staff hired and engineering solutions were developed.
They add, Musk made them look real as he liked building things and publicising them due to his love for publicity. Also, these sci-fi-like projects served to maintain investor faith in his commercial ventures, especially in Tesla, whose $61-billion capitalisation was now the same as BMW's though the German carmaker's revenue was several times higher.
The Mars plan was, however, different from the rest. Musk wrote in New Space:
''The main reason I am personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this. I really do not have any other motivation for personally accumulating assets except to be able to make the biggest contribution I can to making life multi-planetary.''
Musk thinks humanity needed to leave earth, before an extinction event happened and that Mars was the best candidate for that effort.
This entailed tackling the problem of moving to Mars, which needed an ''interplanetary spaceship'' carrying a huge amount of propellant. Musk planned to launch the ship empty, then ferry up lots of fuel on a series of tankers. Even an empty ship would need a bigger booster than humanity had ever devised and launched earlier. According to Musk, such a rocket will be bigger than a Saturn V and have lift-off thrust of 13,033 tons.