This week, Elon Musk presented his vision of how he wants to "back up the DNA" of the human hard drive, on a different planet. Just in case a catastrophe happens on earth... and, to continue reaching to new frontiers. By re-using his ships, he plans for the cost per person to be about the average price of a house in the U.S.: $200,000, or maybe less. (And, because the ships will go to Mars and then return, people could return to Earth, too.)Elon Musk: A Million Humans Could Live on Mars By the 2060s
In perhaps the most eagerly anticipated aerospace announcement of the year, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has revealed his grand plan for establishing a human settlement on Mars. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/elon-musk-spacex-exploring-mars-planets-space-science/
In short, Musk thinks it’s possible to begin shuttling thousands of people between Earth and our smaller, redder neighbor sometime within the next decade or so. And not too long after that—perhaps 40 or a hundred years later, Mars could be home to a self-sustaining colony of a million people.
“This is not about everyone moving to Mars, this is about becoming multiplanetary,” he said on September 27 at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. “This is really about minimizing existential risk and having a tremendous sense of adventure.”
Tim Urban's article (the latest in his series on Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX) is detailed and humorous -- if you don't mind his overuse of the f-word. As in, BFR, Big F'ing Rocket, the unofficial name for the ship.http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/09/spacexs-big-fking-rocket-the-full-story.html“As we show that this is possible … not just a dream, it’s something that can be made real, I think the support will snowball over time,” said Musk, whose net worth is currently estimated at $11.7 billion. “And I should say also, the main reason I’m personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this.”
Video of his talk, the presentation slides, and the cool concept animation of the space ship is here:http://www.spacex.com/mars
Note that the spaceship animation is not just an "idea." The animation was made from CAD designs of the ship they are building. They've already built one of the huge carbon-fiber fuel tanks, and recently test-fired one of their new super-powerful Raptor rocket engines that will power the ship.
Tip: you can skip the questions, most of which are cringe-inducing. I think the only thing of importance was that Musk said SpaceX is not developing the Martian habitats or mining equipment, etc. He's concentrating on the transportation -- much like the Transcontinental Railroad across the early American west