Elon Musk Wants Self-Sustaining City On Mars: Get All The Details, Here
June 16, 2017 06:29 AM EDT
Elon Musk said that humans will go extinct if we don't find a new home - planet, that is. The man behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX shared his vision os a self-sustaining city that he want to build, all the way on the Red Planet.
Elon Musk And SpaceX's Self-sustaining City On Mars
In a paper published on scientific journal "New Space", Musk gave some specific plans on just how SpaceX plans to achieve the city on the Red Planet. The paper had a 16-page narration of points the SpaceX CEO has been pondering over for many years and most recently revealed at the International Aeronautical Congress in Mexico last Sept (via Fortune).
The draft for the journey is now available in print, accompanied with charts and figures. Now, the scientific community will be able to examine the proposal closely at its convenience.
"If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high," Musk said. "I think it would almost certainly occur." he added.
To be able to achieve that, Musk ran down some steps to refine the cost of Mars travel by "five million percent": Spaceships must be fully reusable, they should have the ability to refuel in orbit, and then again on Mars with fuel yielded from production plants built on the planet.
Musk added that methane is the best propellant because the technical tasks to harvest it on Mars are remarkably easier than substances like hydrogen, which he said is too expensive. Once the engineering requirements are met, it would be time to take off. Musk is looking at 2023, according to an illustration in the paper.
At least one million people would be needed to set up a self-sustaining city, he wrote, approximating that the spacecraft could be able to accommodate 100 people every two years. At that rate, he said it will take "40-100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization on Mars."
Why Mars And Not The Moon?
"I think it is challenging to become multi-planetary on the moon because it is much smaller than a planet,". Musk wrote. "It does not have any atmosphere. It is not as resource-rich as Mars. It has got a 28-day day, whereas the Mars day is 24.5 hours. In general, Mars is far better-suited ultimately to scale up to be a self-sustaining civilization." he added.
According to Forbes, Elon Musk mentioned another factor why it's better to start a city on Mars. He said it would be more fun there because gravity is about 37 percent of that of Earth - therefore humans will be able to lift heavier things on the Red Planet. For more details, the full paper can be read here.