SpaceX plans to send people to Mars using its Interplanetary Transport SystemBy Shawn Knight 17 comments
SpaceX on Tuesday shared with the world its ambitious plan to send humans to another planet for the first time in history.
In the crudest explanation, SpaceX will utilize what it's calling the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) to get the job done. From the beginning, astronauts and cargo will take off from a traditional launch pad using a rocket system that produces more than 28 million pounds of thrust.
Once in a parking orbit, the rocket booster will separate from the spacecraft and head back to Earth. As we've seen SpaceX demonstrate multiple times now, the booster will land in an upright position where it'll immediately be fitted with a propellant tanker and shot back into space.
From there, the tanker will rendezvous with the spacecraft for refueling purposes. Once complete, the tanker will return home and the spacecraft will begin its journey to the Red Planet.
In addition to the fuel, the spaceship will utilize two large solar arrays capable of supplying 200kW of power. When the craft arrives at Mars after an unannounced amount of time, it'll land on the Red Planet in an upright position just as the company's boosters have been landing here on Earth.
Rather ambitious, right?
Further details on the ITS are no doubt inbound as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is currently holding a talk on the matter.