Travel to the Red Planet

Space Travel may seemed impossible till SpaceX Founder and CEO announced his mission to transport 1 million people to Mars.  Poolgab brings to you the highlight of the press conference which showcased Elon Musk’s Interplanetary Transport System vision.

At a conference in Mexico today (Sept. 27), the SpaceX founder and CEO unveiled the company’s Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), which will combine the most powerful rocket ever built with a spaceship designed to carry at least 100 people to the Red Planet per flight.

If all goes according to plan, the reusable ITS will help humanity establish a permanent, self-sustaining colony on the Red Planet within the next 50 to 100 years, Musk said at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara. [SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport for Mars in Images]

“What I really want to do here is to make Mars seem possible — make it seem as though it’s something that we could do in our lifetimes, and that you can go,” he said.

Catch the prototype reveal of the entire ‘Man of Mars’ mission:

Not a one-way trip

SpaceX also plans to build a solar-powered factory on Mars that will use the carbon dioxide and water ice in the planet’s air and soil, respectively, to generate methane and oxygen — the propellant used by the Raptor engine. (Musk didn’t discuss other aspects of the Mars colony; SpaceX is concentrating on the transportation architecture, reasoning that the colonists themselves will build most of the city they live in.)

The ITS spaceships will be refueled on Mars and will launch back to Earth from there, meaning prospective colonists don’t have to stay on the Red Planet forever if they don’t want to. (Getting off Mars doesn’t require a big rocket, because the planet is much smaller than Earth and therefore has a weaker gravitational pull.)


This SpaceX graphic depicts the mission profile for the company’s Interplanetary Transport System, a colony ship to fly 100 people to Mars at a time.
Credit: SpaceX
“We need the spaceship back, so it’s coming,” Musk said. “You can jump on board or not.”

Each ITS spaceship will probably be able to fly at least a dozen times, and each booster should see even more action, Musk said. This reusability is the key component of SpaceX’s plan, and should be the chief driver in bringing the price of a Mars trip — which Musk said would cost about $10 billion per person using today’s technology — down to reasonable levels.

“The architecture allows for a cost per ticket of less than $200,000,” Musk said. “We think that the cost of moving to Mars ultimately could drop below $100,000.”