The following is an excerpt from Will Oremus | September 27, 2016 | Slate.com |
Elon Musk has a plan to colonize Mars. It is weird, and risky, and very real.
In a long-awaited speech at an astronautical conference in Mexico on Tuesday, Musk detailed his ambitions to eventually create a civilization of 1 million people on the Red Planet. The roadmap—spacemap?—starts with a gigantic spaceship strapped to a gigantic rocket. Said spaceship would head to Mars at regular intervals, with 100-200 people on board for each passage. The first landings could happen within next decade, he said, if all goes well. Building a city and a civilization would take decades more.
The cost of a ticket would be quite high for the early voyages, but over time it could come down to less than $200,000, Musk predicted—comparable to the price of a house. Once all the kinks are worked out, he imagines a one-way trip would take about 30 days.
Oh, and it would be “fun and exciting,” he promises—not “boring or cramped.” There would be “zero-G games,” movies, and a restaurant. “It’ll be, like, really fun to go,” he said, chuckling. “You’re gonna have a great time.” (And if you don’t, he said, there’s a possibility you could make a return trip to Earth.)
The goal of Musk’s Mars civilization: “Making humans a multiplanetary species.” That’s crucial, he believes, because if we stick around on Earth long enough, eventually there will be “an extinction event.” He did not elaborate.
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