Elon Musk says he plans to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050 by launching 3 Starship rockets every day and creating 'a lot of jobs' on the red planet
- Elon Musk recently shared details on Twitter about his plans to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050.
- The SpaceX founder said there would be "a lot of jobs" in the city he hopes to build on Mars.
- Musk said he plans to build a fleet of 1,000 Starships - the 387-foot rocketship that SpaceX is developing for deep-space travel - and launch three of them each day.
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In a series of tweets on Thursday, Elon Musk revealed new details about his plan to build a city of 1 million people on Mars by 2050.Musk said he hopes to build 1,000 Starships - the towering and ostensibly fully reusable spaceship that SpaceX is developing in South Texas - over 10 years. That's 100 new Starships per year.
"Needs to be such that anyone can go if they want, with loans available for those who don't have money," Musk wrote.Not enough to convince you to leave Earth behind?
"There will be a lot of jobs on Mars!" he added.
Fleets of Starships to make humans multi-planetary
Musk didn't specify what, exactly, the rockets would need to carry to Mars, but lots of food, water, building materials, tools, and advanced life support systems are a given. Thus he estimated he'll need a whole fleet of Starships to build a permanent settlement.
"Megatons per year to orbit are needed for life to become multiplanetary," he tweeted on Thursday.In total, 1,000 Starships could hypothetically transport about 100 megatons of stuff to Mars; that's the volume Musk has said he hopes to send to the red planet per year. With ship ferrying about 100 passengers, that would make for a total migration of about 100,000 people.
Musk also suggested he plans to capitalize on the brief windows of time in which the orbits of Earth and Mars align - this comes about every 25 months. That allows spacecraft to spring off of Earth's rotation and set themselves on a low-fuel journey towards Mars.
Musk said he would take advantage of that opportunity by "loading the Mars fleet into Earth orbit," then sending all 1,000 ships on a Mars-bound trajectory over that 30-day window every 26 months.
A Starship prototype could launch within months
Musk has said a new version of a Starship prototype may launch before the end of March."First flight is hopefully 2 to 3 months away," Musk tweeted on December 27.
The development of the prototype hit delays after an accidental explosion during a fuel-tank pressurization test on November 20, which blew the top off SpaceX's first 16-story Starship prototype.
The full Starship launch system would also include a 22-story rocket booster called Super Heavy; combined, the whole thing would stand about 387 feet (118 meters) tall. During launch, a Starship spaceship would ride atop the booster then disconnect after the booster runs low on fuel, and rocket its way into orbit.
Musk said in September that he hopes to launch a Starship into orbit by mid-2020 and maybe even fly a person in it before the end of the year. Gwynne Shotwell, the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, said during a NASA teleconference that the company is "aiming to be able to drop Starship on the lunar surface in 2022" and fly Japanese tech entrepreneur and billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon in 2023.
However, all of those statements came before the Starship prototype explosion. SpaceX will also have to clear several regulatory and practical hurdles - including securing the safety of residents of Boca Chica Village, which sits within 2 miles of SpaceX's Texas launch pad - before it can launch any prototypes to orbit."Helping to pay for this is why I'm accumulating assets on Earth," Musk tweeted on Thursday.
Loading the Mars fleet into Earth orbit, then 1000 ships depart over ~30 days every 26 months. Battlestar Galactica …- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 17, 2020
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