Yesterday (9/27/16) SpaceX announced its Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). This spacecraft will be capable of ferrying up to 100 tons of cargo to Mars. It will be capable of carrying up to 100 passengers at a time. Elon Musk of SpaceX said that ITS missions to Mars might begin as early at 2024.
The plan for the ITS and Mars relies on substantially lowering the cost of transportation. Towards this end many components of the system are designed to be reusable. The goal is to get the cost of transporting a human to Mar at $200,000 or less.
Musk in his presentation also stressed that this effort was not without risk. He emphasized that the first group headed to Mars would likely fatal accidents.
Only time will tell whether or not SpaceX will be able to fulfill these goals. They have been remarkably on track since their creation in 2002. Regardless of their success, the efforts that SpaceX is undertaking will move commercial space operations forward.
- Elon Musk envisions ‘fun’ but dangerous trips to Mars
- Elon Musk’s grand plan to colonize Mars
- Elon Musk on going to Mars — ‘The probability of death is quite high’
- Elon Musk: To join SpaceX’s first mission to Mars, you have to be ‘prepared to die’
- SpaceX chief envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying to Mars
- Elon Musk’s Mars Mission Revealed: SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System
- Elon Musk: A Million Humans Could Live on Mars By the 2060s