The Traveling Cost to Mars can be Reduced to around US$100,000

The Traveling Cost to Mars can be Reduced to around US$100,000

The Traveling Cost to Mars can be Reduced to around US$100,000
Image Credits: The CEO Magazine

Elon Musk aims to bring down the traveling cost to Mars to 0.1 million dollars.

Ever wondered what would it cost to travel to Mars? For years, the estimated traveling cost has been in the range of $500,000, which is out of reach for many people. Tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, hopes that he can bring down the expense of this journey to around $100,000. This would enable people from developed countries (strong economies) to visit the red planet of our Solar System.

Low Traveling Cost

A special transport vehicle, called the Starship, is being built from stainless steel instead of the expensive carbon-composite material to control the traveling cost of this journey. Generally, the rockets used to propel spacecraft are for one-time use but SpaceX is developing a thrusting rocket that can be re-used again and again. The spaceship’s rocket called ‘Super Heavy’ will push the Starship out of the Earth’s orbit.

The ship is designed in a way that it can travel well beyond Mars. Upon return, the used-up rocket will perform a vertical landing, so it can be recovered to be used again. The Mars project depends heavily on the reusability of both the Starship and its rocket. Musk is convinced that it is possible to build both the rocket and the spaceship at a cost lesser than that of a Falcon-9 rocket typically used for spacecraft. Musk talked about lowering the traveling cost and said,

“This will sound implausible, but I think there’s a path to build Starship/Super Heavy for less than Falcon 9. Very dependent on volume, but I’m confident moving to Mars (return ticket is free) will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k. Low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want.”

Expected Launch

If everything goes according to plan, SpaceX will be sending people to Mars by 2024. A Mars mission is planned to be launched by the mid-2020s. However, even before the actual mission, a prototype is expected to launch soon. The prototype dubbed the “hopper” will be used to test Starship’s capabilities in Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of space companies are trying to colonize Mars but not all of them are doing well. Recently, Mars One, a company which wanted to establish a ‘Mars Colony’ went bankrupt.

Life on Mars

Life on Mars will not be easy for the first people who travel to the red planet. Musk himself acknowledged the risks of traveling to our neighboring planet by admitting that some of the people might die on the first trip to Mars. He also added that there will be zero room for leisure because there will be a lot of work to be done. Surprisingly, there are people who are willing to take a risk provided the cost is around $100,000. Elon himself considers moving to Mars in the not too distant future. The water found on the surface of Mars is twice as salty as seawater on Earth and have chemicals that are toxic for most life on Earth.

Future Plans

Recently, Elon shared pictures and a video of the raptor engines of SpaceX and the results were breathtaking. The same engine is planned to be used in the flights to Mars. The engine emitted a mesmerizing stream of red, white, blue, and green gas as it displayed its incredible power that shook the cameras around the engine. Elon referred to that by saying,

“Completed a two-second test fire of the Starship Raptor engine that hit 170 bar and about 116 metric tons of force – the highest thrust ever from a SpaceX engine and Raptor was at about 60 percent power.”

The entrepreneur confirmed the engine was not running at full power and will be improved over time. If the tests go well, raptor engines will take humans across space faster than ever before. SpaceX plans to send a mission to Mars by 2022 followed by a crewed mission in 2024. The authorities at the space agency explained the future goals in the following words:

“The objectives for the first mission will be to confirm water resources, identify hazards, and put in place initial power, mining, and life support infrastructure. A second mission, with both cargo and crew, is targeted for 2024, with primary objectives of building a propellant depot and preparing for future crew flights.”

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