New York, Sep 28 (IANS) Have a dream to live on Mars in the future? Arrange $200,000 and entrepreneur and founder of US spacecraft firm SpaceX Elon Musk will take you there.
Musk has outlined his ambitious plan to build a human colony on the Red Planet.
Speaking at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday, he spoke about a self-sustaining colony of nearly million people on Mars that can become a reality in next 100 years.
The plan involves reusable rockets, carbon fibre fuel tanks, ultra-powered engines and spaceships capable of carrying 100 passengers to Mars, landing, then returning to Earth to transport more, Wired.com reported.
The first flight to Mars can take place as early as 2022.
The launch site will be Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre pad 39, from where the Apollo Moon missions flew, BBC reported.
“I really think there are two fundamental paths (for humans): One path is we stay on Earth forever, and some eventual extinction event wipes us out,” Musk said.
“The alternative is, become a spacefaring and multi-planetary species,” he told the gathering.
Despite a recent pre-launch explosion, Musk still hopes to send a Dragon 2 capsule to Mars in 2018 – when Earth and Mars’ orbits bring the planets closest to one another.
For the Mars trip, a prototype booster fuel tank has been built and tested.
The combination of the booster and spaceship is called the Interplanetary Transportation System (ITS).
“The booster will have 42 Raptor engines. Arranged in concentric circles, there will be an outer circle of 24 engines, an inner circle of 14 and in the centre seven Raptors. Future versions of the ITS could be larger to accommodate bigger spaceships with up to 200 passengers,” the BBC report said.
Once it reaches Mars, the spaceship is shaped so that it will naturally be decelerated as it passes through the atmosphere. Its engines will then fire to slow it down to land vertically on legs.