Noted inventor and founder CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, unveiled his plans for manned mission to Mars in six years.
During his keynote speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sept. 27, Musk said that the human race faces two paths to go forward. “One is that we stay on Earth forever and then there will be an inevitable extinction event. The alternative is to become a spacefaring civilization, and a multi-planetary species.”
Although the funding details of the mission are still under wraps, Musk outlined the process that might make this vision a possibility. The mission will feature a multi-stage launch and a reusable booster, much like SpaceX’s tried-and-tested Falcon 9 space launch vehicle. The “interplanetary module,” which will carry the astronauts, will be place atop the booster.
The setup, which can carry up to 100 passengers, would be as long as two Boeing 747 aircraft, nearly 142 m (466 ft). According to Musk, the ship will be named Heart of Gold, taking inspiration from the iconic spacecraft from the popular science fiction novel series, “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” by Douglas Adams and Eoin Colfer.
Musk estimates that the current cost of the mission might amount to $10 billion per person, although there would be price decreases over time with technological improvements.
Ok so we'll put our travel plans on hold for a while. Just imagine the cost of real estate up there.