Elon Musk to Colonise Mars
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Elon Musk to Colonise Mars

May 20, 2024 Share

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Elon Musk is a believer in human migration beyond Earth in order to protect the planet from impending natural disasters and to preserve our species.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilisation is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”

-Elon Musk

Image Courtesy of Britannica

Elon Musk, the visionary behind SpaceX, has laid out a daring plan to build a human settlement on Mars in the coming years. Musk took to social media to share his goal of sending one million people to the Red Planet. He emphasized that “civilisation only passes the single-planet Great Filter when Mars can survive even if Earth supply ships stop coming.”

This revelation came as a response to a discussion about the capabilities of SpaceX’s Starship rocket. Musk highlighted the crucial role Starship will play in turning his Mars vision into reality. He confidently stated, “One day, a trip to Mars will be like a flight across the country,” he tweeted.

Why Planet Mars?

Because of its relative advantages over other celestial bodies, Elon Musk believes that Mars is the greatest choice for human colonisation. Venus is not at all ideal because to its powerful winds, corrosive rain, high atmospheric pressure, and tremendous heat. Because the moon of Earth lacks an atmosphere and abundant resources, life on the moon is extremely difficult to sustain. The lack of atmospheric protection and extended days would mean extremely high temperatures.

Mercury has comparable problems with intense heat in the daytime and bitter cold at night. The gas giants—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune—are inhospitable due to their surfaces having crushing pressures and being made of dense gasses.

Even though a few of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn have promise, they are distant from Mars and considerably colder. Regarding Pluto, it is less feasible due to its great distance and extremely cold temperatures. Therefore, Mars appears to be the most viable place for future human settlement.

Mars Colonization

The initiative aims to send 1,000 Starships to Mars during the best Mars launch windows, which come around every 26 months, in order to carry a million people to the planet. The estimated duration of each excursion is 80–150 days, with an average of roughly 115 days for the nine synodic periods that occur between 2020 and 2037. The proposal has been criticised as unsafe and delirious by critics such as British cosmologist Lord Martin Rees and Gizmodo’s George Dvorsky. Saul Zimet and other proponents counter that the technical advances resulting from this undertaking might have a major positive impact on Earth.

Elon Musk has suggested sending a large number of people to Mars quickly following the first crewed landings. He highlights how crucial in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) is to build a self-sufficient colony. Within the next seven to nine years, SpaceX hopes to develop ISRU technology. According to current ISRU hypotheses, CO2 must be taken out of Mars’ atmosphere and transformed into useful elements. While the oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2), Mars’ second-most common gas, would supply breathable air for homes, the methane (CH4) and oxygen (O2) produced would serve as fuel.

Known for setting extremely high standards for himself and his businesses, Elon Musk has propelled them to accomplish amazing things like developing reusable orbital rockets. However, there are many formidable technological obstacles in his way of reaching Mars.

The difficulties that lie ahead were brought to light by the horrific crash of a recent Starship test flight. Musk is still upbeat and hopes to showcase the vehicle’s capabilities on the third test mission that reaches orbit this year.

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