Tags: elon mush | move to mars | or face | extinction

Musk: Get 1M People to Mars or Face 'Eventual Extinction'

(SpaceX/YouTube)

By Eric Mack   |   Sunday, 18 Jun 2017 09:24 AM

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says civilization has two choices: Stay on Earth and wait for an "eventual extinction event" or "become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species."

He is choosing the latter in unveiling a plan to colonize Mars, getting one million people to the planet within the next 40 to 100 years with SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), a reusable rocket which could be ready in about 10 years.

"There is a huge amount of risk," Musk wrote. "It is going to cost a lot. There is a good chance we will not succeed, but we are going to do our best and try to make as much progress as possible."

The key in colonizing Mars is getting cost down to make it a feasible endeavor. His paper suggested the Apollo-style plan would cost about $10 billion per person to get someone to Mars, which is where his reusable rocket system fits in.

"If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high," Musk wrote. "I think it would almost certainly occur."

Using the moon for a colony might be cheaper, but it wouldn't be as feasible, according to Musk.

"We could conceivably go to our moon, and I actually have nothing against going to the moon, but I think it is challenging to become multi-planetary on the moon because it is much smaller than a planet," he wrote. "It does not have any atmosphere. It is not as resource-rich as Mars. It has got a 28-day day, whereas the Mars day is 24.5 hours. In general, Mars is far better-suited ultimately to scale up to be a self-sustaining civilization."

Musk's paper is available free until July 5, and was the basis for his September 2016 presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Space.com published a slideshow of images depicting Musk's plan.

"Musk sketches a rough timeline for these events, but keeps it purposefully vague," Engadget's Mallory Locklear wrote. "It's clear, however, that this is something he's actively working towards."

Musk had unveiled a plan in February to send two tourists around the moon.

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk says civilization has two choices: Stay on Earth and wait for an "eventual extinction event" or "become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species."He is choosing the latter in unveiling a plan to colonize Mars, getting one million...
elon mush, move to mars, or face, extinction
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2017-24-18
 

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