Mars Colonization: Elon Musk Plans To Create A Self-Sustaining City On The Red Planet

First Posted: Jun 19, 2017 06:06 AM EDT

Humanity will go extinct unless it becomes a multi-planetary species, reaching out for the stars and colonizing another planet, according to the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk. The entrepreneur has recently written a paper that details his vision for creating a self-sustaining city on Mars.

Musk has discussed his ideas in detail in a paper published in the scientific journal New Space. He has shared plans about everything -- from the cost of transporting humans to the Red Planet and how to make the journey affordable to how many people can be transported at one go without making the journey cramped and the time taken to reach the planet (115 days). He also has also talked about the number of inhabitants (1 million) needed to create a self-sustaining city on Mars and how many years it will take to establish such a city (40-100 years in total).

The tech billionaire has also provided a detailed review of a system architecture needed for a spaceship and rocket capable of carrying people and supplies to Mars, by comparing possible performance features and vehicle designs. Musk feels that a big challenge that scientists and engineers are up against is how to lower the cost per ton of materials transported to Mars by 5 million percent.

"History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event," Musk said, as reported by Deccan Chronicle. "I do not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event." The alternative to extinction, according to Musk, is to become a space-bearing civilization.

The business magnate has also suggested that humans should look at colonizing Mars and not the Moon because it will be challenging to become multi-planetary on the latter. Moreover, Earth’s natural satellite does not have an atmosphere and neither is it as resource-rich as the Red Planet.

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