Founder of SpaceX releases plan to colonize Mars

A trip to mars might not be that far off.

SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk, published his ideas for mars colonization and it includes a lot of information about the science behind colonizing the planet.

“It would be quite fun to be on Mars because you would have gravity that is about 37% of that of Earth,” Musk said. 

Musk's plan is titled "Making Humanity a Multi-Planetary Species," and documents his ideas for the potential inhabitation of the planet.

Musk's Mars vision centers on a reusable rocket-and-spaceship combo named the Interplanetary Transport System, or ITS.

Musk said the ITS rockets would launch the spaceships to Earth orbit, where they will wait until Earth and Mars align favorably.  They will depart once the two planets align.  Earth and Mars typically align once every 26 months.

In his plan, Musk said during the window when Earth and Mars align, he envisions 1,000 or more ITS spaceships waiting in orbit.  In his plan, Musk estimates that his vision could potentially get 1 million people to Mars within the next 40 to 100 years.

Musk said the ITS' reusability is a key factor in making potential Mars colonization affordable. In his writings, Musk said the reusability could bring the price of a trip to mars to $200,000 per person, from an estimated $10 billion using conventional spaceflight systems.

Musk said success is far form guaranteed but ITS spaceships could begin flying to Mars about 10 years from now. 

"There is a huge amount of risk. It is going to cost a lot," Musk said in his writings. "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."

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