01 July, 2017
According to V1 of the plan, getting to Mars depends on a reusable rocket-and-spaceship tandem, which Musk has called the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). The spacecraft would also be capable of being refueled in low Earth orbit before blasting its way out toward Mars. Now the Mars colonization paper can be read by all on News Space until July 5.
Musk points out in the paper that the Mars colonization mission is both expensive and unsafe, but developing technology will alleviate some of the dangers while the reusable rockets and spaceships will cut launch and transfer costs tremendously.
"In the future, we expect to add additional launch locations, probably adding one on the south coast of Texas, but this gives you a sense of the relative capability", Musk added in the New Space article, which puts to paper the vision he unveiled in September 2016 at a conference in Mexico.
He maintains that if humanity continues to stay only on Earth, we will be wiped out by an extinction event and instead we should become a multi-planetary species.
SpaceX's rockets will be around 400 feet tall, which would make them the largest rockets in history.
The ITPs would be reusable, capable of landing and taking off on Earth and Mars and would be powered by a Raptor rocket engine that burns liquid oxygen and methane.
Long gone are the days of dreaming about space travel and seemingly impossible inventions, thanks to science and geniuses such as Elon Musk, fantastical goals are turning into everyday realities.
The Saturn V rocket that got humans to the moon had five engines.
South African-born businessman, Mr. Musk, believes SpaceX can make it commercially viable to create a civilization on Mars and hopes that tickets will be available for a relatively cheap $200,000 (£157,000) per person.
In his plan, Musk said during the window when Earth and Mars align, he envisions 1,000 or more ITS spaceships waiting in orbit. But he acknowledged that success is far from guaranteed. It is a full-flow staged combustion engine, which maximizes the theoretical momentum that you can get out of a given source fuel and oxidizer.
"There is a huge amount of risk", wrote Musk, according to The Daily Caller. "There is a good chance we will not succeed, but we are going to do our best and try to make as much progress as possible", he noted.