SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has just published his Mars colonization plans in which he details how he intends to reach Mars and what he wants to do once he gets there.
A paper written by Musk, titled "Making Life Multi-Planetary" has been published in the peer-reviewed journal New Space and is now officially part of academic literature, reports Cnet. The paper is similar to the presentation he made in September last year at the International Astronomical Congress in Australia.
At the conference, he made two major announcements — his plans to colonize Mars and his plans to start an Earth to Earth, rocket-based transportation system that can get from anywhere on the planet to any major city in about 30 minutes. To accomplish both of these goals, he needs to build a whole new rocket.
Called the BFR, when completed, will be the world's largest, most heavy, and most powerful launch vehicle ever. According to the most recent update on the BFR, it will reportedly be large enough to ferry about 100 people to Mars at a time. One the way to developing really big rockets, Musk recently launched what is now the most powerful rocket ever built- the Falcon Heavy. This version is sort of a bridge between the Falcon 9 and the BFR. Musk himself said that the BFR will "cannibalize" the Falcon and Dragon programs.
As to the Mars colonization plan Musk says that the first BFRs will reach the Red Planet 2022. Two vehicles, carrying supplies and construction material will be sent beforehand and will wait. Two years later, by 2024, four BFRs, two carrying cargo and two carrying a human crew are set to land. Six rocket ships on Mars should be sufficient to set up a small colony and begin the construction of a city, he said.
The idea is to build a habitat that will "make it (Mars) quite a nice place to be", he said. The first step is to build human habitats and solar power generation plants. Next step — planet terraformation. Using the carbon dioxide and water on Mars, propellant production can begin locally and mineral mining will follow.
While all this construction is happening, Musk also intends to build a base on the Moon. "It's 2017, we should have a Lunar base by now! What the hell is going on?" he said at the presentation.