Some say that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, is obsessed with Mars. He says maybe, but it’s because colonizing Mars necessary to the survival of the human species.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything Q&A session online on Monday, January 5th, Musk outlined his plans to build a huge spaceship to transport equipment and colonists to Mars. He noted he hopes to unveil the blueprints for the transport system and a new astronaut suit by the end of the year.
“The Mars transport system will be a completely new architecture,” he wrote. “Am hoping to present that towards the end of the year.”
Earlier this summer, Elon Musk commented he has high hopes his firm SpaceX will be a key player in sending humans to the red planet by 2026.
Elon Musk’s mars colony is a huge project
By any standard, establishing a human colony on another planet is a huge task. For starters, Musk noted in his Monday Q&A that the mass of all of the materials and humans needed to initially set up the colony would probably come close to 100 metric tons.
He also pointed out that “This obviously requires a very big spaceship and booster system”.
Planning a Mars colony mission and developing the necessary technology will certainly take some time. In fact, SpaceX delayed a Tuesday morning test of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket booster (designed to send materials into space) and land back on Earth on a platform floating at sea. The launch has reportedly been rescheduled for Friday.
SpaceX continues to move ahead with the research required for an eventual Mars colony. As one example, the design for a new spacesuit is “finally coming together,” Musk noted in the AMA session.
“We are putting a lot of effort into design esthetics, not just utility,” he commented. “It needs to both look like a 21st century spacesuit and work well. Really difficult to achieve both.”