In a talk on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress, Elon Musk annpunced its ambitious plans to colonise Mars by sending humans there within ten next years on a special spacecraft.
The billionaore told the audience that one of his companies, SpaceX, is currently working on creation of a massive rocket and capsule whichÂ would transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars.
“Right now, we’re just trying to make as much progress as we can with the resources we have available to keep moving forward,”Â he said.
“And if we show that this is possible, that this dream is realÂ âÂ not just a dream but something that can be made real âÂ I think the support will snowball over time.”
The news about development of a craft capable of carrying 100 passengers plus cargo per voyage surfaces several weeks after anotherÂ rocket carrying a $200 million Israeli satellite blew up on a launch pad in Florida earlier this month.
Musk even shared someÂ engineering details, optimistic timelines and a slick video.
âWhat you saw there is very close to what weâll actually build,â Mr. Musk said, referring to the rockets and spacecraft in the video.
He went on adding that according to his estimations it would cost $10 billion to develop the rocket, while its first passengers could go on boardÂ as soon as 2024 if the plans went off without a hitch.
âIâm personally accumulating assets in order to fund this,â he said, adding that âultimately this is going to be a huge public-private partnership.â
CurrentlyÂ SpaceX is financing development requiresÂ tens of millions of dollars each year, but reportedly the company would for public-private partnership.
Each of the SpaceX vehicles is expected to deliverÂ 100 passengers on the journey to Mars, with trips planned every 26 months, when Earth and Mars pass close to each other. Tickets per person might cost $500,000 at first, and drop to about a third of that later on, Musk explained.
To establish a self-sustaining Mars civilization of a million people would take 10,000 flights, with many more to ferry equipment and supplies.
âWeâre going to need something quite large to do that,â Tesla’s founderÂ said. He even calculated that it would take 40 years to a century before the city on Mars became self-sufficient.
âThe number of people willing to move to Mars is much greater if they have the option of returning, even if they never do,â he said.
Earlier this yearÂ SpaceX announced that it’s preparing to make the first step towards its goal â to fly people to another planet. Dragon spacecraft is to start its mission to Mars as early as 2018.
We'll start a cadence of sending Dragons to Mars in two years. Will be like a train leaving the station pic.twitter.com/Jpjwn3hWax
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 27, 2016
U.S. space agency NASA stated that SpaceX âcould provide valuable entry, descent and landing data to NASA for our journey to Mars, while providing support to American industryâ. The agency that is planning a human mission to Mars for the 2030s promised to provide technical support but no financial assistance for SpaceXâs first breakthrough.
The Dragon craft has been tested in space before âÂ in 2012, it became theÂ first commercial spacecraft to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station.
“He’s really changed the game in many ways for developing private capabilities for space travel,” saidÂ LĂ©veillĂ©. “It’s really a game-changer in terms of where we are going in terms of space and future destinations and in terms of humanity.”