According to billionaire Elon Musk, we’ll be Martians in the near future. The SpaceX and Tesla founder says we can get to the red planet by 2025 now that SpaceX has successfully test-fired the Raptr rocket that could take us there.
Musk explained his plans on Tuesday afternoon in a keynote address at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress. The speech, called “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species,” was chock-full of actual information as to how we’ll get there and colonize.
So, back to the Raptr rocket. The Raptr rocket’s thrust puts out a healthy three meganewtons, which is huge compared to the Falcon 9’s (SpaceX’s previous rocket) 654 kilonewtons. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry. The important takeaway is that the Raptr rocket is several orders of magnitude more powerful in terms of propulsion.
For context, Mars is about 34 million miles from Earth, so we’ll not only need a great spaceship with amazing propulsion to get there, but we’ll also need plans for how we’ll survive once we arrive.
SpaceX also showed off, in a shiny video, the “Interplanetary Tansport System,” a huge spacecraft that accommodates dozens of passengers, multiple rocket stages with re-usable boosters that can land vertically, in-space refueling tankers and a long-range ship that uses solar arrays to generate 200kw of power for the long trip to Mars. The interplanetary ship will coast at 62,634 mph will be capable of landing vertically on Mars’ surface. The video ends with humans stepping onto Mars’ surface in what just weeks ago would have appeared to be just another science fiction movie trailer.
Each ship in Musk’s scenario would carry about 100 people and would cost around $200,000 per person. He points out that after 10,000 trips we could have a civilization of 1,000,000 people on Mars. He says it would take 40-100 years to achieve a “fully self-sustaining civilization on Mars.”
— Harrison Weber (@HarrisonWeber) September 27, 2016
This is real, people.
So who’s first?