More details have been revealed by Elon Musk concerning his plans to put up a human colony on Mars. In a paper, the chief executive officer of Tesla and SpaceX argues that the best incentive to employ in order to attract a critical mass necessary to establish a Mars settlement would be reducing the travel cost. Musk has now set a goal of knocking the price of a one-way ticket to $200,000.
In order to make this happen, Musk will build a reusable rocket powered by SpaceX Raptor engines numbering 42.
“I want to make Mars seem possible – make it seem as though it is something that we can do in our lifetime. There really is a way that anyone could go if they wanted to,” Musk wrote in a paper that appeared in New Space.
Musk added that using traditional methods such as those employed by Apollo would mean it would cost $10 billion to travel to Mars for every individual. That would make it unviable for humans to colonize Mars in a sustainable way.
But while a one-way ticket of $200,000 would still be prohibitive for a lot of people, Musk suggested that interested individuals who couldn’t afford the ticket could seek sponsorship since there would be labor positions open on Mars. The choice of Mars as a potential human colony is due to the fact that the conditions there are similar to those on earth. This includes the length of day and the temperature range.
Musk revealed his plans at a time when SpaceX has increased its pace of hiring. Earlier in March the company had open positions numbering 473 which have since then increase to 487. Most of the positions focus on SpaceX’s Mars-exploration operations.
SpaceX is also poised to unveil the largest launch system it has ever built – Falcon Heavy. Last week Musk revealed in a Twitter posting that Falcon Heavy would be ready to take off towards the end of this year. And by 2018, all things remaining the same, Falcon Heavy will be in a position to transport two paying customers to the moon.