SpaceX founder Elon Musk is aiming to put a million people on Mars by 2050 – in effect setting up a human colony the size of San Jose on the big dusty space rock.
The billionaire entrepreneur has shortened the timescale of what was already an ambitious aim of putting one million on Mars by the end of the century
This is despite the fact that his company hasn't even finished building the first of a fleet spacecraft needed to take us there.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO outlined the numbers in a flurry of
, as part of his vision to make humans a multi-planetary species before we become extinct on Earth.
Starship design goal is 3 flights/day avg rate, so ~1000 flights/year at >100 tons/flight, so every 10 ships yield 1 megaton per year to orbit— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 17, 2020
Musk said his Starship spacecraft, currently in development, will fly for an average of three flights per day, equating to more than 1,000 flights per year.
Each ship will carry more than 100 tons of cargo per flight, he said.
'Building 100 Starships a year gets to 1,000 in 10 years,' Mr Musk wrote on Twitter. Pictured, the Starship MK1 seen here at a SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas
‘Starship design goal is 3 flights/day avg rate, so ~1000 flights/year at 100 tons/flight, so every 10 ships yield 1 megaton [million tons] per year to orbit,’ Musk tweeted last night.
He also said that he’s aiming to construct 100 Starships per year, equating to 1,000 in service over the course of the next decade.
As the distance between Earth and Mars varies depending on their orbits, SpaceX is planning to send a spacecraft full of humans to Mars when the two planets are at their closest.
During this launch window – around once every 26 months – Musk is aiming to send around 100,000 people off to the red planet.
‘Building 100 Starships/year gets to 1000 in 10 years or 100 megatons/year or maybe around 100k people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,’ he added.
‘So a million people by 2050?’ one Twitter user replied, followed by Musk’s simple response: ‘Yes’.
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‘That is assuming fuel production on Mars can support the return flights,’ another user interjected.
‘Yeah,’ Musk replied, ‘A lot of work is needed for propellant production on Mars.’
Musk also tweeted that ‘there will be a lot of jobs on Mars’ and said the lifetime of each Starship will be around 20 to 30 years, ‘like an aircraft’.
Elon Musk stated that the 100-passenger spaceship will only use $900,000 worth of propellant