The 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia on September 29, turned out to be a competitive ground for colonizing Mars when two giant space technology companies came up with their ideas of human settlement on the planet.
Elon Musk, the CEO and lead designer of Space Exploration technologies of the SpaceX, came up with his design to colonize Mars. The organization is expected to launch their first Martian trip with cargos in 2022. The first Martian mission to take mankind on the red planet is expected to be held in 2024.
According to reports, Musk said that SpaceX will start construction of its first spaceship in the first half of 2018. They aim to shrink the size of the rocket ships which are to be used as launchers to Mars.
According to Reuters, SpaceX has shifted their focus from developing an unmanned capsule, Red Dragon in 2018 to build a single, slimmer and shorter rocket. He said that the rocket would be partially reusable. It could make direct flights from Earth to Mars with 100 passengers on board. The similar rocket will also be used for faster transportation between different continents on Earth.
He showed an animated video presentation of the rocket flights between various cities across the globe. The revolutionary rocket flight is said to carry people to any launch pad on earth within one hour of its travel from its launching point.
"If you built a ship that's capable of going to Mars, what if you take that same ship and go from one place to another on Earth? We look at that and the results are quite interesting" confirmed Elon Musk.
"Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft" read Musk's Instagram post. He added that people can now complete the distance the long distance within half an hour.
"The great thing about going to space is there's no friction. So you're out of the atmosphere.... It was smooth as silk. No turbulence, nothing. There's no weather. There is no atmosphere" the SpaceX CEO further added.
Meanwhile, the same meeting was also staged by Lockheed Martins who announced their Mars mission program.
"Sending humans to Mars has always been a part of science fiction, but today we have the capability to make it a reality. Partnered with NASA, our vision leverages hardware currently in development and production. We're proud to have Orion powered on and completing testing in preparation for its Exploration Mission-1 flight and eventually its journey to Mars" said Lisa Callahan, Vice president and general manager of commercial civil space at Lockheed Martin.
The Orion spacecraft, which has been built to fly to Mars is aligned with NASA's recently announced Lunar Deep Space Gateway approach. The spacecraft will be tested in the cislunar space in the moon's orbit before being sent to explore Mars.
The vehicle will study and test systems and operations such as habitats, airlocks, solar electric propulsion, surface telerobotics and longing in the Deep Space Gateway space station.
A Mars base camp is also planned to be built from the Gateway. The base camp will orbit the planet while its surface lander lands on the Martian surface with its crew.The crew is supposed to live on the Mars for two weeks and return to the Mars base camp later.
The project is expected to be launched by 2030 with the help and support of NASA.
Blue Origin Space Venture, an initiative by Amazon.com was also present in the meet with their design of a heavy lift vehicle called "New Armstrong" to transport people to Mars.
Russia and China are also working on their venture for mankind's mission to Mars while Russia's Space Agency ROSCOSMOS have joined hands with NASA to build the "Deep Space Gateway".