Elon Musk's Mars vision has earthlings all fired up and an article published in an astronautic journal gives his most detailed account yet of what it would take to get people to the red planet.
The New Space article summarizes what the SpaceX founder said at last September's International Astronautical Congress. In the speech, "Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species," he talked about how to make repeated trips to Mars possible and affordable.
Musk said the current cost of trying to get a person to Mars with current technology, about $100 billion, is cost prohibitive. He wants to get the price tag down to $200,000 with the help of reusable rockets and refueling in space and creating propellant on Mars.
Musk said the spaceship carrying the astronauts on their long voyage will be equipped with "movies, lecture halls, cabins, and a restaurant. It will be really fun to go. You are going to have a great time."
"Musk sketches a rough timeline for these events, but keeps it purposefully vague," said Endgadget’s Mallory Locklear. "It's clear, however, that this is something he's actively working towards.”
"The 15-page journal article is not quite what you expect to see in a peer-reviewed journal – there are some humorously unnecessary venn diagrams and a few tables that are nothing more than bullet points. But it's a much more flushed out write-up than we usually get from Musk."
Mashable’s Miriam Kramer said Musk's optimistic talk about Mars eludes the fact that SpaceX has not even put a person in orbit around Earth yet.
"Of course, SpaceX isn't anywhere near sending humans to Mars," Kramer said. "The company is still in the process of developing its interplanetary space system, and it hasn't yet launched people to space at all. However, that could change soon.”
"SpaceX is expected to start launching astronauts to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA in the next couple years, giving them crucial data needed to figure out how to send people deeper into the solar system than ever before," Kramer added.
Musk's plans have fired up many on social media.
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