Does that Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space adventure, getting a competition? Elon Musk, the billionaire founder and CEO of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, has announced his plans to establish a Mars colony of up to 80,000 people, and the ticket price might cost $500,000 per seat. Musk revealed some details about the Martian voyage, but we can expect to hear more about the plan in less than a year.
Musk’s plan is to send a pioneering group of 10 people to the the Red Planet, along with supplies to build transparent domes, who would flew there on a “rapid and reusable” rocket that can land vertically, and is powered by liquid oxygen and methane. He described creating a rocket that could shuttle between Mars and the Earth as “possible, but quite difficult”.
His vision include building a small-city-sized settlement on Mars, starting with a 10-person crew, which he thinks SpaceX can do in 10 to 15 years. The Red Planet inhabitants would also take construction materials to build transparent domes, which when pressurized with Mars’ atmospheric CO2 could grow Earth crops in Martian soil. As the Mars colony became more self sufficient, the big rocket would start to transport more people and fewer supplies and equipment.
Musk arrived at 80,000 colonists becouse he believes one person out of every 100,000 people would be interested in making the journey with 8 billion expected on Earth by time his plans become reality.
As for the $500,000 ticket he said: “The ticket price needs to be low enough that most people in advanced countries, in their mid-forties or something like that, could put together enough money to make the trip.”