The richest man in the world and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk among others, has a long vision of his own to build a new city on the Red Planet, Mars.
Below you will learn all about this ambitious project from the date it is expected to happen, the reasons why Elon Musk will take this difficult initiative and what his in-game rivals Jeff Bezos think about his idea.
What is the City of Mars?
Elon Musk plans to build a city of real size on the surface of the planet Mars. Residents will be ordinary people, not just scientists or researchers.
Those who will be interested in going to Mars will pay for their trip through a loan. Once they arrive, they will be able to repay it by being employed in various enterprises from iron factories to pizzerias.
According to Elon Musk, Starlink’s company, the city will be free to govern as it pleases, even though this would contradict the 1967 Space Treaty, which states that any colony or activity in space would remain under the jurisdiction of the state which initiates it.
In 2019, Musk estimated that the city on Mars would cost $ 100 billion – $ 100 trillion, considering that it costs $ 100,000 for every 1 ton of material sent to Mars.
Why is Elon Musk trying to build a city on Mars?
Elon Musk’s main goal is to transform humanity into a multi-planetary species. Over the years, he has listed a list of reasons why humanity may need to expand its presence in the universe.
One reason he often mentions is a potential catastrophic event on Earth – like a meteor or a possible apocalyptic scenario of global warming – which could bring an end to life on Earth – but if we had a basis on Mars, then this could guarantee our continuity.
In addition, Elon Musk calls this mission a reason to have fun and dream. He is not the only one who has proposed the colonization of another planet – prof. Stephen Hawking made a similar proposal in 2017, suggesting that humanity should go into space within 100 years if it wants to survive.
Nevertheless, astrophysicist Martin Rees has called this kind of world-sense ‘a dangerous delusion, as our main focus at the moment should be climate change on earth’.
When did Elon Musk have the idea to ‘conquer’ Mars?
The richest man in the world has stated that this desire has been present in his aspirations since his teenage years, when he was inspired by science books and science-fiction novels.
Later, Musk founded his famous SpaceX company that has challenged NASA itself. In 2007, before SpaceX launched the first rocket into orbit, Elon Musk stated that he was working to build a base on the Moon and Mars.
How will this Martian City be built?
The Starship spacecraft is central to this mission – it is a multi-role rocket, which will enable the delivery of people and goods to Mars. This spacecraft will be able to send 100 tons or 100 people into space on a single voyage.
It uses liquid oxygen and methane as fuel, which means that explorers will be able to fly to Mars, replenish the spacecraft on the red planet, and return to Earth.
According to Elon Musk plans, astronauts could even continue their journey through space instead of returning to Earth, enabling an entire network of interstellar travel where they could stop from one planet to another to recharge their spaceships at the respective stations.
What does Jeff Bezos think of Elon Musk’s Martian City?
Not everyone agrees with Elon Musk’s vision to set up a cross-space industry. Jeff Bezos, however, is one of his rivals in this field, since in addition to the famous Amazon, he also founded the company Blue Origin, which instead of colonies on Mars, prefers to build giant cities which would sail to orbit around the Earth.
According to physicist Gerard K. O’Neill, the idea of building a city on Mars would not be ideal. The main reasons were these:
A round trip to Mars would take at least a few years – Earth and Mars orbits meet only once every 22 months, and a single trip would take at least a few months.
Communication between Earth and Mars would not be fast due to the distance. It takes at least 20 minutes to send a signal to Mars.
Instead, Bezos prefers the O’Neill model of colonies floating around the Earth’s orbit, which could hold about 1 trillion people.
What would the Martian City look like?
During a 2017 presentation of the International Congress of Astronautics, Musk posted some images of the Martian city look or design. It would be built on a series of bases which would later be able to be expanded.
How much will a spaceship ticket to Mars cost?
In 2019, Elon Musk stated that a round-trip ticket to Mars would cost about $ 500,000 initially, but that it could be reduced to $ 100,000 gradually.
According to Musk, the ticket should reach the price of a house in the US. Thus, those who would leave for Mars could sell their homes and eventually move to the Red Planet.
Will Elon Musk be able to terraform Mars?
Maybe not during his lifetime, but Musk has some pretty interesting ideas. At SpaceX headquarters are 2 images of what Mars would look like before and after terraforming. Terraformation – is the attempt to make another planet similar to Earth.
The surface temperature of Mars is currently an average of minus 63 degrees Celsius. Elon Musk’s idea is to heat the poles of the red planet by discharging large amounts of frozen carbon dioxide. This would be made possible by a continuous series of nuclear explosions – which would serve as artificial suns.
If this is achieved, then the atmosphere of the planet Mars would be more affordable for human beings making it possible for them to walk around the planets using a simple breathing apparatus.
This, however, is simply a theory written on paper. At least for now. In practice, many scientists have their doubts, especially regarding the fact that Mars does not have enough CO2 to enable this heating proposed by Musk.
However, scientists are still working and dreaming. After all, according to the predictions of the richest man in the world, the first ship with new inhabitants of Mars may depart no later than 2024.
So, we have no choice but to continue to follow the latest news from Elon Musk, who has set himself a deadline and that is the year 2050, when according to Musk, his new city on Mars will be completely self-sustaining and will have a full population of 1 million. That year, Musk turns 79 years old.