SpaceX CEO Elon Musk aims to send 10 lakh people to Mars by 2050 and in a series of tweets, has revealed how is he going to achieve the daunting task of colonising the Red Planet and make humans beings 'multiplanetary'.
Throwing more details about his Starship programme, Musk said the rocket would carry many megatons of cargo per year to the Red Planet to prepare Mars for a human presence by mid-century. "Megatons per year to orbit are needed for life to become multiplanetary," he tweeted.
Goal to send 10 lakh people to Mars
"Starship design goal is 3 flights/day avg rate, so over 1,000 flights/year at over 100 tonnes/flight, so every 10 ships yield 1 megaton per year to orbit," Musk explained to his 30.7 million followers. The orbital Starship prototype, designed "SN1" is currently under construction at SpaceX's Texas facility.
"Building 100 Starships/year gets to 1,000 in 10 years or 100 megatons/year or maybe around 100k people per Earth-Mars orbital sync," the SpaceX CEO further explained. That translates to a schedule of once every two years when Earth and Mars are closest to one another.
SpaceX's goal, according to Musk, is to finally send 10 lakh people to Mars by 2050. In September last year, SpaceX requested NASA to provide it with potential landing sites on the Red Planet. SpaceX is building the Starship (formerly known as the BFR), a fully reusable vehicle designed to take humans and supplies to Mars.
Billions to trillions for a self-sustaining civilization
Musk earlier floated the idea that making Mars warmer would be crucial for making it habitable for humans and one way of doing it would be launching thermonuclear weapons in order to create tiny "suns" over the regions.
The idea is to convert any frozen carbon dioxide into gas, thereby engineering a greenhouse gas. Musk has already estimated the cost of having a self-sustaining civilization on the Red Planet which is "between $100 billion and $10 trillion".
He arrived at the figure after estimating the approximate future cost of sending a minimum payload to Mars "to nearest order of magnitude", at $100,000 per tonne. So if building a self-sustaining city on Mars requires a million tonnes of cargo, the cost would be around $100 billion, Musk calculated.