SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is quite often in the news for his visions towards establishing human colonies on Mars. This time, he has published a paper in the journal New Space which contains a detailed plan for colonization of Mars.
The paper, titled “Making Life Multi-Planetary,” that was published earlier this month is available for everyone to read for free.
Plans to colonize Mars
In this paper, Musk has laid down his plans for a rocket called “BFR” (Big Falcon Rocket) which will be developed at SpaceX.
He intends to use this shuttle to transport about 100 people to Mars to start the colonization process.
Paying for the rocket through cannibalization
On its completion, the BFR will probably be the world’s largest and most powerful rocket ever built with such a large capacity.
Now gathering funds for such a launch vehicle is one of its biggest obstacles. But Musk aims to pay for it through the “cannibalization” of the current Falcon and Dragon programs.
He has also updated the design of his BFR rocket to make it smaller and less expensive than his original design by incorporating a ship and rocket booster into one system that will eventually replace the Falcon and Dragon spaceships.
On reaching Mars
According to Elon Musk, the first two BFRs carrying supplies and construction material would land on Mars by 2022. After two years, by 2024, another set of four BFRs would be launched with two of them carrying cargo and a human crew in the remaining two.
A total of six rocket ships should be sufficient to establish a small colony and begin the construction of a city, said Musk.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 29, 2017
His idea is to create a habitat “over time terraforming Mars and making it really a nice place to be.” The first logical step towards is the building of human habitats and solar power generation plants.
An essential aspect of his attempt towards colonization would be the ability to produce propellants locally to power the spaceships for returning to Earth.
To this end, he aims to use the abundant amount of carbon dioxide and water available on Mars to produce propellants which would be followed by mineral mining later on.
While construction at Mars goes on, he intends to build a base on the Moon. It’s already 2017, and Elon Musk also thinks “we should have a Lunar base by now” for conducting Lunar missions.