For a long time now, life on a different planet other than Earth has only been what the Silver Screens, science fiction books and comic strips can offer. But Alas! Finally, that dream of invading one of the habitable planets and probably start life a fresh- planet Mars, is almost coming to a reality, thanks to Elon Musk’s plan. As the current Chief of Executive of SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity, he has formulated a plan to transport at least 1000 people per launch and 100 per rocket to mars. The plan also targets at least one million people by the end of first round of the trips. It sounds like a brilliant idea, right? Well, it would be, but Musk will have to overcome a few obstacles before starting life on Mars.
Every project requires a certain amount of funds to run, but project “Colonize Planet Mars” is not the regular level of projects that need a few millions of dollars. SpaceX, a Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, an aerospace manufacturer, and space transport services Company, has estimated the total cost to Musk’s plan to be a whopping 10 billion dollars. That figure is also what Musk himself has declared to be a main challenge for his endeavor.
In sacrificial efforts, but which can only be compared to a drop in the ocean, SpaceX has devoted nearly 5%, which amounts to several tens of millions of dollars, of its assets to the interplanetary transport system. Considering also that the Congress is yet to pledge any funding to this project, it is unclear how Musk will mobilize funding to the project.
Giant Rockets Needed
To transport at least 100 people per spaceship, an ideal rocket booster size will have to measure about 254 feet tall and 39 feet in diameter. That size, combined with a nearly 400 feet tall spaceship, would appear as a giant to the revered Saturn V. But that is not the problem, as it has not been determined how that machine will be airlifted from the ground. Estimated to require four times as much thrust as that of the biggest rocket that ever existed- the Saturn V, critical speculations have that it will be too big a challenge for Musk to sustain.
Safety during Transportation and on Mars
Considering it is a bigger and never-before venture, it is still questionable how the safety of the 100 people in every rocket will be maintained, and how they will be protected from the higher radiation on Mars. Although Musk has proposed some system of shielding using artificial magnetic field, it is not yet clear how he will go about that, at least within the shortest time.
Manufacturing Plants in Mars?
Well, Musk could not only be the man behind the company that explores the highest places, he also happens to be the person having the highest level of imagination. His idea to make the transportation efficient by setting a carbon dioxide and oxygen liquid plant in Mars to provide alternative energy for the rocket engines is sure one of those. However, Musk is yet to explain in detail how that plant will be established, and most importantly, where it will obtain some of its vital resources, such as water, which is rare in Mars and only exists as ice, not forgetting the process of converting that into fuel.