ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO MARS?
It may not happen for a little while as Elon Musk recently stated that astronauts on Mars could be a reality by 2029.
The CEO of SpaceX has a long-held dream of constructing a settlement on Mars. It would be self-sufficient, home to one million people, and transform humanity into a multi-planet species. It is Musk’s most ambitious project yet, and the one that might keep him busy for the next three decades.
“Can you tell me why we’re doing this?” At the company’s February 2022 Starship development update, Musk noted. “This, I believe, is extremely crucial for the continuation of life on Earth… There’s always the possibility that something may go wrong. Dinosaurs are no longer alive!”
Musk also discussed how the proposal, although being a simple insurance policy, aims to construct something amazing.
Musk stated, “Life can’t only be about solving issues.” “There must be things that move your heart and inspire you. You’re enthusiastic about the future when you get up in the morning.”
However, while fans had hoped to see the first humans arrive in March by the mid-2020s, Musk said last week on Twitter that an image of astronauts on Mars would most likely be released in 2029.
And, as a recent study has revealed, the terrain on Mars is dangerous. Astronauts will face unexpected challenges such as dust gathering on solar panels and small Martian rocks that wreaked havoc on NASA’s Curiosity mission.
What Is This Mars City?
Musk wants to develop a full-scale city on Mars’ surface. This would be a metropolis that was accessible to the whole public, not just scientists and researchers.
People who want to go to Mars could take out a loan to pay for their travel. People might repay the debt by working in anything from iron foundries to pizzerias after they arrived. At a 2016 conference, Musk predicted that there would be labor shortages for a long time.
How Would This City Be Governed?
According to the Starlink internet service terms and conditions, which were issued in October 2020, this city would be able to govern itself on its own terms. This looks to be in violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which specifies that the country that launches the rocket is accountable for all subsequent space activities. In 2021, David Anderman, who was SpaceX’s chief counsel at the time the terms were disclosed, told Inverse that the two papers might collide.
What Would It Cost To Build Mars City?
Musk projected in 2019 that constructing a self-sustaining city on Mars will require about one million tonnes of cargo. Assuming that sending cargo to Mars with the forthcoming Starship costs $100,000 per tonne, a Mars city would cost roughly $100 billion. Musk believes that it will cost roughly $10 trillion on the high end.
However, SpaceX may not be content with only one city. At the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention in August 2022, Paul Wooster, SpaceX’s principal Mars development engineer, stated that SpaceX may establish many cities:
“The idea would be to expand out, start off not just with an outpost, but grow into a larger base, not just like there are in Antarctica, but really a village, a town, growing into a city and then multiple cities on Mars.”
Why Does Elon Musk Want To Create A Society In Mars City?
Musk’s stated goal is for humanity to evolve into a multi-planet species. He has compiled a list of reasons why humanity would wish to extend into the universe over the years. One of his recurring themes is that a life-ending disaster on Earth could mark the end of civilization, but that humanity could survive if it could establish a base on a new planet like Mars.
“Earth is ~4.5B years old, but life is still not multiplied and it is extremely uncertain how much time is left to become so,” In November 2021, Musk posted on Twitter. Aside from the worst-case scenario of climate change, an unexpected asteroid impact may wipe civilization out entirely.
Another reason is that it’s a motivation to keep living, as he indicated in September 2018:
“There’s are so many things that make people sad or depressed about the future, but I think becoming a space-faring civilization is one of those things that makes you excited about the future.”
Musk also stated in February 2022 that one reason for humanity’s expansion is that we are “life’s guardians… The creatures we love cannot build spacecraft, but we can, and we can bring them with us.”
Why Elon Musk Not The First Person To Suggest Multiplanetary Civilization?
Musk is not the first person to advocate for humanity colonizing another planet; in 2017, Professor Stephen Hawking stated that if humans were to survive, they would need to extend outward within 100 years. In reaction to Hawking and Musk, scientist Martin Rees called the proposal a “dangerous fantasy coping with climate change on Earth is a doddle compared to making Mars habitable.”
How Did Elon Musk Come Up With The Idea Of Mara City?
It’s difficult to say when he initially had this view; according to Ashlee Vance’s 2015 biography, he’d grown to consider “man’s fate in the world” as his “personal obligation” by the middle of his adolescent years. Science fiction works like Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy influenced him.
Terency Beney, who attended Musk’s high school, is also mentioned in the book. Musk, according to Beney, was already thinking about colonizing other worlds when he was a child.
Musk spoke at a gathering of the Mars Society, a non-profit organization, in 2001. Musk was informed about the organization’s plans to send mice into orbit to inspire people during the occasion. Musk began to examine the possibility of transporting them to Mars rather, an idea that led to the formation of SpaceX.
How Will Elon Musk Build Mars City?
The Starship is at the heart of the plan. SpaceX will be able to fly personnel and goods to Mars using this totally reusable rocket, which is currently being developed in Texas. The spacecraft will be able to launch over 100 tonnes of cargo or 100 people into orbit at once.
Because it uses liquid oxygen and methane as fuel instead of the rocket propellant used by the Falcon 9, explorers will be able to fly to Mars, refuel using resources found there, and return to Earth. The astronauts could potentially travel further into space, constructing a network of refueling stations as they go.
The ship is anticipated to fly for the first time later this year. While the company’s first goal is to launch the ship from its Starbase facility in Texas, Musk has said that if there are too many delays, the team will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This contingency plan may have caused a postponement of Starbase’s planned expansion.
With planet-hopping technology, Neil deGrasse Tyson warned in November 2018 that “a whole category of combat has the potential of disappearing totally.” Because humans would be able to journey further afield and mine resources from even further away, this is the case.
“You don’t have to wage a war in space; just go to another asteroid and acquire your resources,” deGrasse explained.
It isn’t going to be simple. Musk compared the commercials for traveling to Mars to those for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition in November 2018:
“Men wanted for a Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”
Although the ads are unlikely to have existed, recent Mars excursions have indicated Musk may be correct about the planet’s dangers.
A dust storm hit the Hope mission to Mars, which was sponsored by the United Arab Emirates in December 2021. It rushed across the thousands of miles wide crater, passing over NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. The storm lasted until the 14th of January.
The occurrences demonstrated how harsh the weather on Mars can be, especially when compared to the weather on Earth. Solar panels can be rendered less effective by dust storms, depriving a space station of essential electricity.
The astronauts will confront a variety of challenges in addition to dust. NASA said in April 2022 that the Curiosity rover would have to abandon its current expedition route owing to ventifacts, which are sharp rocks that could damage the rover’s wheels.
Mount Sharp is the name of the mountain Curiosity was attempting to ascend.
Musk’s ambition is not shared by everyone in the space sector. To expand mankind, Jeff Bezos, the founder of competing company Blue Origin, prefers to develop massive orbiting cities around Earth.
Are Jeff Bezos And Elon Musk On The Same Path?
- Bezos referenced physicist Gerard K. O’Neill’s study in May 2019. Is a planetary surface the optimum site for mankind to extend throughout the solar system, he wondered? O’Neill came to the conclusion that the answer was no for three reasons:
- The planets’ surfaces aren’t particularly large. At most, humans would double the quantity of usable land surface.
- They’re quite far away. The Earth and Mars align once every 22 months, therefore a round trip to Mars would take years, and the trip itself would take a few months depending on the rocket.
- Because of the distance, there will be no real-time communications with Earth. Sending a signal to Mars takes about 20 minutes, far longer than communicating over the internet, which takes tens of milliseconds.
Bezos, on the other hand, prefers to construct O’Neill-style communities in Earth’s orbit. He claims that this may support up to one trillion people.
Later that month, Musk reacted to Bezos’ vision:
“It doesn’t make any sense.” You’d have to transport massive amounts of mass from planets, moons, and asteroids in order to expand the colony. It’d be like attempting to construct the United States in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!”
Musk showed renderings of how the city would look during his presentation at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress:
The city would start with a set of bases and progressively extend outwards over time.
How Much Would It Cost To Travel To The Mars City?
A return ticket, Musk estimated in 2019, may cost roughly $500,000 at first, decreasing to $100,000 over time. In 2016, Musk set a target of achieving a ticket price of about the median price of a home in the United States. That implies that individuals could sell their homes and relocate to Mars.
A personal loan, Musk offered, is another option. Visitors would repay the debt by working in the city to help alleviate labor shortages. It’s a concept that harkens back to 19th-century American company towns, where workers were housed in a city controlled by their boss. There may not be many local job opportunities on Mars, especially in the early days, and you’ll need to pay off that flying loan.
In a May 2019 interview with Inverse, Guenter Lang, an economics professor at Kühne Logistics University in Germany, called this proposal into question. After all, why would you give up that pleasure if you’re wealthy enough to go?
When Will Mars City Be Ready For Colonization?
Musk proposed an “aspirational” proposal in 2017 to transport two cargo ships to Mars by 2022. In 2024, it would deploy four ships, two crewed ships and two cargo ships to the next closest approach.
Musk, though, said on Twitter in March 2022 that a more realistic timeframe for humanity to witness the first humans on Mars would be 2029. However, it’s likely that Musk was referring to the 1969 Moon landing, which would put the two events roughly 60 years apart.
Once every 26 months, Mars and Earth come closest to each other. At this point, the distance between them has shrunk to roughly 33.9 million miles.
“It’s possible to create a self-sustaining city on Mars by 2050, if we start in 5 years and take 10 orbital synchronizations,” Musk stated on Twitter in March 2019. With 26 months between synchronizations, the metropolis would be built in roughly 22 years at the very least.
Musk has set a goal of establishing a self-sustaining Mars colony with a population of one million people by 2050. That year, Musk would be 79 years old.