Elon Musk Explains The Details For Colonizing Mars!!

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Elon Musk is probably one of the most enthusiastic entrepreneurs alive. Musk has been planning to colonize Mars for a while now. He recently shared these plans with a presentation. Here are the exciting highlights!

1. First, Musk explains the reasons behind moving to Mars.

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When we consider our location in the Solar System, our neighbors are Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter and its moons.

Venus has intense pressure rates and high temperature that will make humankind suffer. Even the exploratory spacecrafts couldn't handle those conditions. Mercury has similiar disadvantages, as it is located closely to the Sun.

2. 

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Moon is the closest orb around the Earth. However, it doesn't have an atmosphere and it is not as fertile as Mars considering the resources. 

Mars has a thin atmosphere which is rich in carbon dioxides -incredibly important for plants. The planet also contain liquids in the form of ice and this makes Mars one of the best alternatives in the Solar system.

Jupiter is a gas giant - giant planet that is composed of hydrogen and helium - and this makes it impossible to be inhabited by humans. Some moons of Jupiter and Saturn can fit to human anatomy. Nevertheless, those moons are not close to the Earth. 

For all of these reasons, Musk focuses on Mars.

3. Second factor is the production costs

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If you want to travel to Mars on your own, you must pay around 10 Billion Dollars. This is an extreme cost. Moving to Mars as a colony is not likely without lowering these costs.

For that reason, the first goal is to decrease those production costs. This way, more people will have the chance to move to Mars (estimated 1 million people) and continue their lives in a city that will be built on the planet. 

Still, humankind has to figure out a lot to move to Mars. The first step is to be able to transfer a limited amount of people to the planet.

4. According to the plan Musk has announced, the costs for each person will be around 200K dollars.

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It seems impossible to lower the production costs to this level. There are 4 essential things that needs to be done:

  • Enabling the spacecraft to be reusable,

  • Refueling around the orbit,

  • Enabling the fuel production on Mars,

  • Finding and picking the proper fuel for all of these.

5. The most important detail here is to make spacecrafts reusable.

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Elon explains this situation by giving a Boeing 737 as an example. If these planes weren't used multiple times, each ticket would cost around 500K Dollars. Since Boeings can be used more than once, the ticket prices can go as low as 50 dollars. When the scientists have a solution for spacecrafts, the prices will go down as a result.

It should be noted that the prices will probably stay expensive for an ordinary person.

6. Refueling around the orbit has significant advantages

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Refueling the spacecraft in the orbit makes the process of bunkering much easier. If bunkering is possible around the orbit for multiple times, things become much easier.

Fuel production on Mars is directly related to this. If we could manage to produce the fuel on Mars, the spacecraft won't have to carry all the fuel from the Earth. This will eventually lower the costs.

7. Finding the right fuel

There are three alternatives that are thought as possibilities. Two of these are either too expensive or impossible to be produced on Mars. The third one is called deep-cryo methalox (CH4/O2). This fuel is both good for transfers and reusability and this makes it a proper match for travelling to Mars.

8. We should now talk about the actual journey

As can be seen from the image, when spacecrafts leave the atmosphere, the booster leaves the craft and returns back to the Earth. Then, the spacecraft moves forward to its next stop for bunkering. At this moment, the booster is filled with fuel again and it returns to the orb to leave the fuel tank. As a result, the spacecraft opens its solar panels and starts to create 200 kW energy while travelling.

9. Pretty impressive, isn't it?

The booster can leave and return in a short amount of time - like 12 minutes. A booster can be used around 1,000 times.

10. It is estimated that there should be around 1 million people to colonize Mars and make it into a place that is proper for humans.

When you consider the fact that the first spacecraft will only take 100 people and this journey will take around 26 months, reaching 1 million people will require 10,000 different trips. This the reason why scientists are trying to develop vehicles that can carry more people.

It is estimated that there will be an increase in the number of spacecrafts waiting on the orbs. Consequently, Musk foresees a time frame between 40-100 years to transfer 1 million people to Mars.

11. According to Elon, energy production is a problem as big as water production on Mars.

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Musk claims that there is a considerable amount of water in the form of ice on Mars. The actual problem on Mars is to produce energy. This problem can be overcome by building solar panels. Although, Musk considers nuclear energy as an alternative, he states that this is not a decision he can make on his own.

12. Musk talks about the first journey to Mars in his presentation

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First of all, Elon Musk states that this journey will be extremely dangerous and these dangerous facts won't be able to be reduced. For that reason, there won't be any children on the spacecraft. The participants will be asked whether they are ready to die during the journey. Only the ones who can consider those possibilities will get on the spacecraft.

Little fun fact: Musk wants to name the first spacecraft 'Heart of Gold'' after the sci-fi novel series The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

13. Elon emphasizes that it is essential to create a sustainable living on Mars.

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For that reason, the purpose is not to send all of the people to Mars, but settling on the planet successfully. The world will be a place where humans can live for a long time. However, Musk believes that humankind should inhabit multiple planets around the Solar System.

14. Musk doesn't hesitate to answer further questions on the subject

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Musk states that the radiation problem can be overcome with preventive shields. He adds that the ones who don't enjoy living on Mars can always go back to the Earth. There won't be extreme entry conditions or month-long experiments.

15. What are Musk's personal thoughts on this? Will he take the risk?

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Musk would like to go to both the ISS (International Space Station) and Mars. However, he is afraid that if something happens to him, the remaining people will cancel the whole project.

Due to these reasons, they are not planning a journey in the near future. He previously mentioned that he won't be among the first people that visit Mars as he wouldn't take the risk of not seeing his own children growing up.

What more can we say here?! It seems like Musk will continue to change humankind's fate with his innovative visions.

16. Final Question! Would you join the first people travelling to Mars if you had enough money?

No, I would never take that risk!
Not at the first round. Maybe on the next trip?
Yes, but I'll come back after 2 years.
Yes, It would be amazing to live on Mars!
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