Elon Musk is at it again. The founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has just sent out new information on his vision to colonize parts of the solar system, including Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Sounds like the beginnings of Star Trek, right?
These details were just published in the journal ‘New Space’, are are nothing less of almost daydreams…but is this almost too Hollywood idea, possible?
Musk is no doubt a brilliant man. Alright, the guy’s a genius. Musk is considered Silicon Valley royalty, and it’s exactly his big thinking and seemingly impossible ideas that really push him to the edge. SpaceX has been a major success, as his company uses relaunchable rockets, that can return to earth to be used and reused again.
Musk has had enormous success with rocket launches, and the auto industry world already, with his Tesla cars being one of the most sought after electric vehicles in the world.
His paper concerning his new goals proposes several fascinating ways of trying to get to Mars and further. He also has plans to build a city on Mars to colonize it, and serve as both a home, and a jump point for further exploration – the paper claims that the cost of trips to Mars have to be cheaper, by at least ‘five million percent’.
According to Daily Mail:
An important part of this will be reusable space technology. This is an excellent idea that Musk is already putting into practice with impressive landings of rocket stages back on Earth – undoubtedly a huge technological step. Making fuel on Mars and stations beyond it is something he also proposes, to make the costs feasible. Experiments towards this are underway, demonstrating that choosing the right propellant is key.
The MOXIE experiment on the NASA 2020 rover will investigate whether we can produce oxygen from atmospheric CO2 on Mars.
This may be possible. But Musk would like to make methane as well – it would be cheaper and more reusable.
This is a tricky reaction which requires a lot of energy. Yet, so far, it’s all fairly doable. But the plans then get more and more incredible.
Musk wants to launch enormous spaceships into orbit around Earth where they will be refuelled several times using boosters launched from the ground while waiting to head to Mars. Each will be designed to take 100 people and Musk wants to launch 1,000 such ships in the space of 40 to 100 years, enabling a million people to leave Earth.
There would also be interplanetary fuel-filling stations on bodies such as Enceladus, Europa and even Saturn’s moon Titan, where there may have been, or may still be, life. Fuel would be produced and stored on these moons.
The aim of these would be to enable us to travel deeper into space to places such as the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud.
The ‘Red Dragon’ capsule is projected as a possible lander for such missions, using actuation force in combination with other technology rather than using the dated parachute system, as most Mars missions use now. 2020 is slated by Musk to be the year he plans to test such systems on the planet, but of course using an unmanned mission. Will it be possible?
We’ll never know… unless he tries.
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