Elon Musk reveals Mars colony plans

Elon Musk's Mars metropolis Insane but not impossibleMore

He spoke during a separate presentation at the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Guadalajara, which Musk addressed on Tuesday. Many in the crowd were avid space buffs.

Tuesday's speech came nearly a month after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a launchpad in Florida while being fueled before a standard prelaunch test.

Musk told the audience it would essentially be a scaled-up version of the company's Falcon 9 rocket - the rocket that's been used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

"It would be quite fun to be on Mars because you'd have gravity which is about 37 percent that of Earth, so you'd be able to lift heavy things and bound around and have a lot of fun", Musk said. Instead, he unveiled new details about his long-standing plan to start colonizing Mars. The system ultimately could take people to the moons of Jupiter and beyond, he said. His goal is to get the price down so anyone could afford to go, with a ticket costing no more than a house on Earth.

Musk outlined his plans for the Mars rocket, capable of carrying 100 passengers plus cargo per voyage, even as SpaceX is still investigating why a different rocket carrying a $200 million Israeli satellite blew up on a launch pad in Florida earlier this month. Musk says with current technology, it would cost about $10 billion to send someone to Mars.

"The first journey to Mars is going to be very risky risk of fatality will be high. [But] If you're going to choose a place to die, then Mars is not a bad choice".

In April, Mr Musk announced plans to send an unmanned Dragon capsule to land on Mars as early as 2018. He said, should everything go right, 10 years, and that they are now working on the booster and spacecraft and hoped to have the first test spacecraft ready in four years.

While Musk noted that NASA missions will bring in some profit, he also made very clear that he will need more money to bring his vision of Martian habitation to fruition.

Trips to Mars could occur every two years, with spaceships that could be returned to Earth powered by methane mined on Mars, and rockets refueling in orbit from rocket boosters, Musk said. The spaceship would have to fit around 100 people and come with everything needed to build a colony: "iron foundries, pizza joints, you name it".

Funding for Musk's plan was presented as a public-private partnership with funding coming from existing and future SpaceX revenues along with public funding from rich individuals, other companies and governments, should any be interested.

"As we show this possible, this dream is real, the support will snowball over time, the reason I am accumulating assets is to fund this", said Musk.

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