SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Sunday said that the rocket manufacturing company is charting out a plan to get a million people to Mars.
What Happened: Musk said that the plan involves ensuring the survival of people on Mars even when no supply ships are moving from Earth to its neighboring planet.
“We are mapping out a game plan to get a million people to Mars. Civilization only passes the single-planet Great Filter when Mars can survive even if Earth supply ships stop coming,” Musk wrote X.
Musk’s post comes a day after SpaceX shared pictures of a Starship launch vehicle on the launch pad at Starbase in Texas. The post raised enthusiasm for an upcoming flight test after the previous two failed to achieve their goals.
Starship’s Past Flight Tests: During Starship’s first flight in April, the rocket exploded in less than four minutes after take-off. The second liftoff on Nov. 18 saw successful stage separation, but the booster experienced an explosion shortly afterward. The spacecraft lost contact with SpaceX after reaching an altitude of nearly 150 kilometers, failing to complete the test launch’s goal of a round-trip flight to space with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX’s Starship is touted to be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle, capable of carrying up to 250 metric tonnes. It is fully reusable, powered by methane-oxygen staged combustion engines, and capable of carrying up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights. The vehicle is expected to carry humans back to the Moon in the near future and Mars later.
Musk’s Interplanetary Vision: Last week, Musk said that Starship should be able to make it to the moon in less than 5 years. The vehicle will get to Mars by 2033 according to the CEO’s latest estimate.
Musk’s vision for taking humans to Mars involves not merely landing people on the planet but also building a functional city on it. Last year, he said that Starship could deliver 200 tons of payload to a useful orbit, meaning they could enable over a megaton of payload to orbit per year if 50 rockets flew every 3 days on average. According to the CEO, that would suffice to build a self-sustaining city on Mars.
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