Elon Musk's Mars Mission Revealed - SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System
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SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed his plan for human exploration of Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico.

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During his presentation, Musk said: "First of all, why go anywhere?" "History is going to bifurcate... One path is we stay on Earth forever, and eventually there is going to be some doomsday event… The alternative is to become a space-faring civilization and multiplanetary species, which I hope you’ll agree is the right way to go." "What you saw there is actually quite close to what we actually will build. The ship goes to Mars, gets replenished, and then returns to Earth." There would be maybe a thousand ships in orbit at once. Estimating a million people on Mars to establish civilization, and people can only go every two years, with 100 people per trip... that's why you need a thousand ships. "From the point at which the first ship goes to Mars it's probably between 20 and 50 Mars rendezvous, and maybe 40 to 100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization on Mars." The Mars vehicle is larger than a Saturn V, making it the largest rocket ever made. The duration of the trip can be as low as 80 days. What's it like to be in the space craft? In order to make more people want to go it's got to feel exciting and not feel cramped. You can float around, watch movies. There will be a restaurant. "It'll be, like, really fun to go. You'll have a great time." The cost per person? "Less than $200,000." If everything goes "super-well" the mission could start in as little as 10 years. Musk believes that it is very important for people to be able to return from Mars, even if they don't actually decide to do so.
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