On Tuesday, 27th September, Elon Musk outlined SpaceX’s ambitious plan to colonise Mars, at the annual 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.
He once again iterated his desire and commitment towards making the ‘ticket to Mars’ as cheap as possible and vowed to bring it down to US$200,000 – which is about the median cost of a house in the US.
But he also sent a stark reminder to everyone wanting to go to Mars; they must be prepared for death. And that the people aspiring to land on Mars require to develop a grim comfort level with the undeniable fact that the chance of death on Mars is quite high.
Musk said, “The first journey to Mars is going to be really very dangerous. The risk of fatality will be high; there’s just no way around it.”
He also suggested that sending children on the journey is not the ideal situation.
You can watch the 2-hour speech here:
“It would be basically: are you prepared to die? And if that’s ok then you’re a candidate for going.”
The first human to land will be bombarded with an unprecedented onslaught of radiation, solar flares, weak gravity, frigid cold, and even has to encounter toxic soil. So only the people with determination and will to make human beings a multi-planetary species should consider going to the Mars.
Musk added, “This is less about who goes there first. The thing that really matters is making a self-sustaining civilisation on Mars as fast as possible. [It’s about] protecting life, and ensuring that the line of consciousness is not extinguished which I think is incredibly important.”
Colonising a foreign planet and preventing human extinction in case of an Armageddon-esque event on Earth are the key drivers behind Musk’s commitment towards this incredible adventure.
According to Musk, this is the essence of life. To be inspired and be excited about the future and wanting to live in it rather than just going through the motions.
Musk thinks that the mission can begin as soon as 2022, three years earlier than previous estimates. And to achieve this goal, he explained a multi-stage launch and transport system. This included using a reusable booster – like in the Falcon 9 – only much larger. The booster would be nearly as long as two Boeing 747 aircraft and could initially take up to 100 passengers in it.
What do you think? Do you have what it takes to survive on Mars? Comment below!