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Elon Musk outlines plans to build an 80,000 person colony on Mars

By Shawn Knight · 34 replies
Nov 28, 2012
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  1. Enterprising entrepreneur Elon Musk, the man responsible for Tesla Motors, SpaceX and PayPal, is looking to expand his reach into space. He recently outlined plans to build a colony on Mars as part of a public-private joint venture that could...

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  2. Pan Wah

    Pan Wah TS Enthusiast Posts: 125   +27

  3. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,489   +3,485

    Same reason Britain, Spain, etc. wanted to send people to the New World: When your society has problems, you run as far away as possible. Also: there's money in it.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  4. "Musk says that half a million dollars per person is all that’s required for a ride on a reusable rocket powered by methane and liquid oxygen."

    I find that hard to believe:
    Today, it costs $10,000 to put a pound of payload in Earth orbit.
    Address : http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/background/facts/astp.html_prt.htm

    A 200 lbs man = 2 million dollars.
    Maybe getting in to the orbit is the part that costs the most, but still it sounds ridiculous.
  5. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    Shouldn't we colonize the moon first?
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Not in my, your, or our grandchildren's lifetime. As is said around the world "when pigs fly" :grin:
  7. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    Just $500,000 to move to Mars, and become what, a dirt farmer? I quite like my technology, comforts, and possessions that I get on Earth.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  8. Hm..too earthish..I want more central...in the galaxy.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  9. whiteandnerdy

    whiteandnerdy TS Member Posts: 69

    I'd do it, but only for a while. Red would get quite boring.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  10. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    There actually is a way to cut the costs associated with any launch. Privatize the mission. We hear all the stories about how it costs XXXX dollars to put anything in space. However thats because it was normally govt funded, and Im 100% sure kickbacks and pocket lining factor into actual costs. If a private business took it over there would be cost cutting measures for sure.
    I believe would could have a colony functioning in under 20yrs on mars. As in the begining resources would have to be launched from Earth, it could become self sustaining in under 5 years. Provided that the colonists would be able to grow/manufacture food and water. Given Mars relativly mild seismic activity, a underground colony could evolve and allow mankind to settle in. So its not really that far away in reality. It would take some capital and planning but is very financially possible. The big thing would be making sure ppl wouldnt go nutz on a 2yr trip and wouldnt completly lose it when they got there.
    davislane1 and Wendig0 like this.
  11. danhodge

    danhodge TS Member Posts: 80   +13

    Really? People asking are asking 'Why'?

    We are kind of running out of habitable room on earth :')
    hammer2085 likes this.
  12. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Jeez I'd do it just for fun! What kind of person doesn't want to go colonize another planet?
  13. I hope all rich celeb go to Mars.
  14. Alexmx

    Alexmx TS Member Posts: 23

    AFAIK mars doesn't have magnetic poles, so, in order to first trying to land a human there, they should invent something that somehow emulates a magnetic field, so the solar radiation doesn't tear our DNA into pieces.

    I'm all for terraforming mars, but I don't think I will see it in my remaining years of life.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  15. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,119   +121

    I'd only go if there were hookers with 3 titties, like in Total Recall. Also, I'd want my own Tesla Johnny Cab.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  16. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    I always question if this guy is actually human or in fact alien. nothing can stop this guy.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  17. Like people are doing on the earth with automobiles he's working with cheaper transportation methods. Not planning on useing the old methods. For instance the rocket itself will actually land on Mars. Something that's not done at the present. So the costs could be as low as he makes out with his alternate power source. He's working to get a rocket really for such an endeavor now they say but not with the cheaper transportation methods yet. Cars went from gas to electric and now there are even toy rockets powered by water. Who knows maybe he has found a way to use rockets cheaper. Only time will tell.
  18. So the first few people, 10 or less would be called Alpha testers. I guarantee this will work or your money back, um, just get back to Earth somehow to collect it. ;)

    Really this sounds quite cool however I think the time and cost to completion will be considerably higher.
  19. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    No, we're not.

    Well, I take that back. Envirozealots don't want people to develop anywhere so maybe we are running out of habitable room.

    Also, people die. I know, it's sad to say such things but it's the truth.
  20. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    What for? A Moon settlement wouldn't prove anything for Mars, which has an atmosphere and indications of deep caverns where atmospheric pressure would be a lot higher and they might even find liquid water. Also, they'd be protected in caverns from the low-Earth-orbit radiation levels NASA found on the surface. If you mean as a stopover point on the way to Mars, that would only introduce a new gravity well, raise transit costs and make Mars quite a bit more expensive to reach. Besides, people don't pay half-a-mil to dawdle on the Moon when they're going to Mars to be dirt farmers.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  21. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    So if you drive from California to New York you don't stop to get gas, get tired and get food to eat? Now multiply the distance and time of that trip by a factor of 1000 or so and you get an idea about why settling the moon would make more sense than making a trip to Mars, never mind getting the logistics of long distance flights that can take up to a year to complete out of the way.
  22. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,119   +121

    $500,000!? Hey man, I got 5 kids to feed!
  23. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    Stopovers in secondary gravity wells followed by a restart would be a bigger cost - and problem - than stopping for gas and a bathroom break on the Interstate. But I'm with you in one respect - if a colony can't be self-sufficient from very early days, and you just HAVE to have an off-Earth colony supplied in part from Earth, it would make sense to put it closer. I suppose a lot depends on just how supplied-from-Earth such a project would have to be, and for how long. At the very least, there ought to be some serious human exploration of resources and potential colony locations on Mars before Earth sends its poor, its wretched, and its longing to be free refugees out there in covered space wagons.
  24. I think a huge spacecraft/spacestation would be more ideal, and why cant this world take tips from the likes of startrek where they lose currency and strive for bettering mankind rather than worrying how much everything costs all the time.
  25. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I can certainly agree with you on that and what the poster below you said. My entire point is that we haven't even completed the space station and haven't made frequent trips outside of the outer gravity of the Earth that there are too many variables to consider when making a long distance trip to Mars and that mastering a shorter distance flight and occupation - the moon - would be more optimal.

    And I guess letting Johnny use the bathroom on the moon would be a bigger nightmare than pulling off highway and letting him use a bush somewhere.


    I think Elon Musk will have to give something more concrete than stating he did the math and believes it can be done.

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