When humans arrive on Mars, living deep underground might be one of the most viable options and SpaceX believes that the best way to do this is to take The Boring Company's tunnel boring machines and build underground tunnel networks for people to live in.
Both The Boring Company and SpaceX are companies run by Elon Musk, who firmly believes that humans need to move to Mars, colonise, and terraform it if we want to survive in future. Musk has said that he plans on taking his new rocket to Mars, taking people to the red planet as early as 2024. A report by Futurism on a televised interview with SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell pointed out that The Boring Company might now be serious about digging tunnels in Mars.
"I think the Boring Company could be the way that we house people on Mars. We'll have to dig tunnels for folks," said Shotwell. This only reinforces what Musk said earlier about building habitats in Mars, notes the report. "You could build an entire city underground if you wanted to," said Musk during a session at the International Space Station Research and Development (ISSR&D) Conference.
"People are still going to want to go to the surface from time to time, but you can build a tremendous amount underground with the right boring technology on Mars," he said.
As to why it is a good idea to live underground in Mars, the report points out that while the glass domes currently being tested as habitats and other tent-like setups that people envision as being a good place to start, they could easily kill humans. Mars has an atmosphere that is several times thinner than the one on Earth and till the planet is terraformed to an extent to it being capable of at least resembling Earth, there is little to no protection from cosmic radiation, both from beyond the solar system and the Sun. Also, the planet lacks the magnetic field that Earth has, this also acts as a great deterrent for radiation.
Also, the cost of building giant domes that are both airtight and absorb radiation is high- they will have to be made from materials that make up the outer layer of spacecraft. This is why building tunnels might just be the best way to live on Mars and a lot can be done with just one Boring machine, notes the report.