Feel like taking a trip to, I don’t know, MARS? Well, Elon Musk and SpaceX are working on it in earnest. In fact, Musk isn’t just thinking travel to Mars, he’s thinking colonize Mars. And, here’s the kicker. He’s written his plan down for anyone to read; available for free. It’s pretty fascinating stuff.
Musk’s vision ‘centers on a reusable rocket-and-spaceship combo that he’s dubbed the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). Both the booster and the spaceship will be powered by SpaceX’s Raptor engine, still in development, which Musk said will be about three times stronger than the Merlin engines that power the company’s Falcon 9 rocket.’ according to space.com. The Falcon 9 is already in use. They’ve been working on getting back down with a ‘pinpoint landing’, meaning it would land perfectly on the launch pad it had just come from. They haven’t quite accomplished this feat yet, but Musk noted that they are getting closer with every attempt.
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The Falcon 9 in flight, featuring it’s reusable landing legs
He’s got big plans. Very big. Musk is talking a thousand flights for each reusable rocket, hundreds of people leaving Earth’s orbit at once, and a million people on Mars in the next 50 to 100 years. It is truly mind-blowing, even if still out of reach.
You can read Musk’s plan for colonization of the red planet HERE on New Space‘s website through July 5.
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