The speculative chatter surrounding the human colonization of Mars intensified, on social media. SpaceX founder and chief Elon Musk took to Twitter to share his thoughts on how we can possibly inhabit the red planet. Needless to say, the endeavor won’t happen overnight. It won’t even happen in the next decade.
According to Musk, it would require 1,000 SpaceX Starship rockets to establish a sustainable city on the Martian planet. The thousand-strong fleet will carry all the necessary cargo and manpower to our red neighbor.
Musk also thinks that it will take 20 years to transport a million tons and create the Martian city which he refers to as “Mars Base Alpha.” According to the SpaceX founder, the planets align every two years . This will open up a window that would facilitate interplanetary flight schedules to Mars.
Elon Musk’s plan may sound ambitious but might also be feasible. However, the SpaceX founder himself acknowledged that colonizing Mars is extremely difficult. Those who choose to be the first inhabitants of the red planet face the threats of death and suffering. Knowing these difficulties, he even dared his followers to take the interplanetary trip.
Surprisingly, many of his followers were eager to join the trip. Some are even saying that conditions on Mars can’t be any worse than here on Earth .
The good news is that those who join the Martian settlement undertaking would be part of something inspiring. Musk said that the idea of consciousness exploring other planets and possibly other star systems is exhilarating. It is so much better than being trapped on Earth until an extinction event. After all, the expedition to Mars is all about securing the survival of the species.
While Elon Musk is focused on inhabiting Mars, other billionaires who are looking at space as the next frontier share unique visions. For instance, Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, the sister company of Virgin Galactic, also plans to visit the red planet. However, the objective is not as grand as Musk’s but the mission is in the near future.
Virgin Orbit has partnered with Polish company SatRevolution to develop a mission to Mars . The objective is to send a small satellite to the Martian planet in three years. The satellite would be capable of taking images of the planet, analyzing the red planet’s atmosphere, and searching for water below the Martian surface.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos is fixated on the moon . The Blue Origin founder envisions a lunar base that will act as a launching pad to missions into deep space. Bezos wants to harness the abundant resources available in the solar system. According to CNBC, the wealth in the asteroid belt could amount to $100 billion for every person on Earth.
Bezos wants to mine these asteroids and create enough wealth to build colonies across space . The Blue Origins founder said,
The solar system can support a trillion humans, and then we’d have 1,000 Mozarts, and 1,000 Einsteins. Think how incredible and dynamic that civilization will be.
The three billionaires may share different visions on space exploration. But all of them sound exciting.