Elon Musk Answers SpaceX Questions On Reddit, Describes His Plan For MarsBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Elon Musk made waves a few weeks ago when he revealed his plans for SpaceX to bring one million people to Mars. He also revealed that he wants to do that within 10 years.
President Barack Obama has reaffirmed NASA will put humans on Mars "by the 2030s." The space agency is said to be pitching in $65 million over the next years. This is to enable the companies to create prototype modules on the ground which will be used to gain knowledge on the things that are needed for the real launching.
On Sunday, Elon Musk hosted a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) where he answered questions about SpaceX and his Mars plans. LA Times reported that the Q&A session was intended to follow-up on his speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, last month.
Musk's plan involves large, reusable rocket boosters which can launch spaceships into a "parking orbit." He revealed that these spaceships will be refueled by propellant tankers. Eventually, this mission would lead 1,000 spaceships with 100 people each to go to the Red Planet.
In the Reddit AMA, Musk admitted that his space company SpaceX would create a refueling station first on Mars to harvest methane fuel by sending its Dragon spacecraft on missions. Later on, a spaceship with the equipment to build the station would be sent to the planet.
The first crew on the mission would be responsible for constructing a "rudimentary base" and for completing the propellant plant. Musk also shared his vision for human habitats on the Red Planet.
"Initially, glass panes with carbon fiber frames to build geodesic domes on the surface, plus a lot of miner/tunneling droids," he stated. "With the latter, you can build out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations and leave the glass domes for green living space."