Elon Musk plans to land spaceships on Mars by 2022
29 Sep 2017
Elon Musk has offered more details of his grand plan for colonising Mars.
According to the hard-charging tech mogul, his rocket company SpaceX aimed to land at least two cargo ships on the Red Planet in 2022 to place power, mining and life support systems there for future flights.
"That's not a typo - although it is aspirational," Musk said yesterday during a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia. He added, ships carrying crews would arrive in 2024.
To meet the deadlines SpaceX will start building the first spaceship by the middle of next year, he added. According to commentators, the billionaire entrepreneur does have a track record of setting ambitious time frames for SpaceX, and failing to meet them.
Musk also revealed more details of the spacecraft, known as BFR, or "Big F--king Rocket." Musk envisages Mars colonisers to eventually travel in style in the BFR, which would accommodate around 100 people spread out over 40 cabins. It would also include large common areas and an entertainment system.
Musk added he had also figured out a way to pay for the costly missions, but did not give specific numbers.
SpaceX plans to finance its Mars ambitions from the money it makes from its current business of launching satellites and servicing the International Space Station. Musk aims to make the BFR reusable, which would significantly cut down the cost of launches.
''The future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we're a space-faring species than if we're not,'' Musk said as he took the stage. ''It's about believing in the future and thinking the future will be better than the past.''
One big part of the plan is to do away with all current SpaceX vehicles by focusing on the so-called BFR rocket.
The BFR will itself be scaled down from the huge concept design, and will instead be one booster and ship that replaces Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon, with capabilities both in terms of servicing the International Space Station and SpaceX's current Earth orbital satellite customers, as also reaching Mars and helping establish a moon base.