Elon Musk has put his vision to colonize Mars on paper. The billionaire, who is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX has published and the master plan which was first unveiled at a conference held in Mexico in September last year. The plan has been published in the journal New Space.
While commenting on the publication, Musk said the paper will offer the spacefaring community to understand and share SpaceX’s vision. He added that by presenting the vision in print form, the space community will be able to access all its details including presenting the context in charts. He also says the paper will form an important study reference for future planning and studies.
Musk’s vision for Mars is mainly centered on a reusable rocket-and-spaceship combo which Musk named Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). Both the spaceship and the booster will use SpaceX’s Raptor engine as a source of power. The engine is still under development. According to Musk, the engine will be almost three times much stronger than the Merlin engines which is used to power the company’s Falcon 9 rocket.
The booster, which has 42 Raptors, will be the most powerful rocket ever built in history. The booster will have the capacity to launch 300 metric tons to the low Earth orbit. This is far much stronger than the famous Saturn V moon rocket operated by NASA is only able to launch 135 metric tons.
ITS rockets’ will be launched on Earth orbit and will make a pinpoint landing in 20 minutes time. The ITS boosters plans to launch several spaceships and accompanying fuel tank which will be used to fuel the tanks of the spaceships. The spaceships and the tankers will go round the orbit during their entire operational life. According to Musk, the rockets will fly 1,000 times each. Meanwhile, the spaceship will be positioned in the orbit and depart when mars and Earth are appropriately positioned. This always happen once in every 26 months.
Musk says he is planning 1,000 and more ITS spaceships with 100 or more people onboard each spaceship. These trips will be leaving earth during each of the targeted Mars windows.