By: Helen Hudson
Could humans REALLY live on Mars? Elon Musk, CEO of Space X, believes that we can in the next 50-150 years! Find out more about his proposals and this movement.
At the International Astronautical Congress, Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, announced that he believes humans could be living on Mars in the next 50 to 150 years. Musk’s current goal is to send the first unmanned spaceship to Mars before 2018 and the first humans in 2024. Yet, there is one large problem: Mars and Earth only align every 26 months, meaning it could take between 40 and 100 years to send enough people and supplies for a sustainable living space. Thus, even if he reaches his time goals, a community on Mars may not be fostered for many more years.
In his proposed plan to populate Mars, Musk disclosed his goal to reduce the price from $10 billion to about $200,000 per person. In order to attain this drastic price reduction, Musk highlighted the crucialness of dependable and reusable rockets. He plans to use a new type of rocket: the Raptor rocket engine, which was successfully tested on September 26. However, a spacecraft bound for Mars requires nearly 42 of these Raptor engines, increasing the price significantly.
Recognizing that few people will initially want to move to Mars, Musk hopes to demonstrate the benefits of the voyage by noting the potential job surplus on Mars and proposing plans for food. In his vision, the community on Mars will eat the food that they produce in buildings with compressed atmospheres similar to that on Earth. Furthermore, inhabitants will be granted supplies to make rocket fuel in order to send spaceships to Earth for any necessary reason.
President of the St. Mary’s Astronomy Club, Grace Sammarco, shared her thoughts on sending humans to Mars, saying, “I think that it’s certainly doable, but they’re going to have to be extremely careful because it’s not something that’s easy. However, scientists say that it’s possible, so I’m really excited to see what they do with it.” Until then, to infinity and beyond!