Sunday, January 16, 2022

SpaceX, Elon Musk, and When We Finally Land on Mars

To the Moon? History says we’ve been there. Mars? Only with probes and the like. Never has any human set foot on Mars soil during the past recorded 5,000 years and this will soon change, according to SpaceX’s Elon Musk.

The SpaceX travel research and development company, spearheaded by Ellon Musk, claimed flights to Mars might start as soon as 2023 if all goes smoothly. According to Musk, he and his top team of scientists believe they can develop a spaceship that could, very soon, send humans to Mars and possibly further. But best of all, the rocket used to launch the space shuttle into outer space is reusable and only needs to be refueled between takeoffs. This means if space travel gets serious and more people become interested in colonizing Mars, it will eventually become so cheap that anyone capable of affording a college degree could also fly to Mars.

Where is SpaceX?

After many initial failures in the first rockets, SpaceX eventually put together an acknowledged, well-working rocket that is not only capable of lifting an earthly load into the breathless reaches of outer space, but also can be reused. Eventually, just like with common public air flight travel, the price for a trip to Mars might become affordable for most people, who knows?

 (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)
Eventually, just like with common public air flight travel, the price for a trip to Mars might become affordable for most people, who knows? (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Ellon Musk claims he knows

Musk believes that he and his team can make going to Mars cheaper than going to college. “If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high,” Elon Musk said in a 16-page paper called Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species. But for now, the price of going to Mars is still very, very high, at roughly US$10 billion per person.

Musk’s vision centers around a reusable rocket and spaceship duo that he has coined the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). In the following video, SpaceX forecasts that it could land humans on Mars sometime in the next 7 years:

Space X making history with a rocket landing on a drone ship:

How much it currently costs to get to Mars?

Musk estimates that it would currently cost roughly US$10 billion per person to get a team of 12 people up there. However, with the reusable rockets and spaceships the company has developed, they predict the price of a Mars trip to be comparable to that of purchasing a middle-class home or college degree in the United States.

Just to illustrate how much money actually makes up one billion dollars. It’s one thing to hear it, but another to actually see it. What 1 billion dollars in 100 hundred dollar bills looks like:

 (Image: Flickr / CC0 2.0)
One billion dollars in 100 hundred dollar bills. (Image: Flickr / CC0 2.0)

Currently, anyone hoping to “hitch a ride to space,” or Mars to be more specific, would need to come up with 10 times more cash than you see on the pallet in the picture of one billion dollars above. Luckily, Elon Musk and his team of super enthusiastic scientists and engineers have discovered a way to increase the carry load a spaceship is capable of transporting into outer space.

What will ever make space travel affordable?

Space-faring opportunities stand before our current civilization’s doorstep. Fortune in advancing, in the scientific fields related to how we solve certain challenges we meet along the way, will most likely belong to those who can be dynamic enough to let go of old notions and embrace the ever-greater truth. Yes, a lot of how things will pan out in regard to space travel will depend on “the people,” society, and whether going to Mars and colonizing would even be an option for the mainstream.

In the long run, however, what will really make space travel more commercial, for even the middle class of earning people in a society to be able to afford to leave earth and colonizing Mars. SpaceX, with it’s Falcon 9, has made some serious advancements in the field. They have taken the old and revolutionized the way it’s used. Taking the full potential out what they had before, so to speak. This is a unique capability in its self.

Falcon 9’s Crew Dragon space capsule in a Twitter tweet by LaunchPhoto:

“It can do anything you want… it can launch things directly to Pluto or beyond, no stop needed, don’t even need gravity assist or anything,” he said. “Two or three Falcon Heavies would equal the payload of a Saturn V,” Musk was quoted in the Guardian.

Meet the BFR and watch its schematics

This is how SpaceX intends to send us to Mars pretty soon. The most compelling thing about it is that it is not a one-way system, but rather a reusable one. On September 29, 2017, Musk presented an updated vehicle design for what’s currently being referred to as BFR.

All in all

Let’s applaud the soon-to-come opportunities companies like SpaceX and others have opened with their advances and open-minded way of approaching the challenges of manned space travel. Even though we don’t hear so much about it in the mass media, there are some groundbreaking leaps being made. We might be off to Mars in 2023. Space travel will be getting cheaper and cheaper because the rockets and shuttles are reusable. Would you go to Mars if you could? Let us know — leave a comment below the article.

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Hermann Rohr
Hermann Rohr is a Travel, Lifestyle, and Culture, journalist based in Leverkusen, Germany. He has always been interested in the "human state", what keeps the world together and moves it from within. These days, Hermann spends most of his creative time, editing, writing and filming outstanding content for Nspirement.

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