|Musk for Martian President, 2032!|
(Image courtesy bornscientist.com.)
According to TechNewsWorld.com, Musk has ambitious plans for series of Martian missions that will culminate in colonization. His rocketry company, SpaceX, has already proven its viability by transporting supplies to the International Space Station, and they’ve even made innovative strides in advancing space technology (such as landing their returning rocket upright on a barge, which could pave the way for reusable rockets and less astronomically-expensive space flights.) Now, he seeks nothing less than an actual new world.
By Musk’s schedule, the first SpaceX Martian lander would launch in 2018, with subsequent flights leaving Earth every two years (at the point in which Earth and Mars are closest in their orbital neighborhoods to each other.) These unmanned missions, likely abetted by SpaceX Dragon capsules aboard Falcon Heavy rockets, would conduct science experiments, set up infrastructure, and canvas the terrain using rovers.
|Can't stop, won't stop: the Martian rover Opportunity,|
active since 2003, continues to learn about the Red Planet
so we puny fleshlings can swoop in and conquer it.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)
Then, around the late 2025, a manned mission would finally head to Mars. This timeframe is extremely optimistic, beating out NASA’s own plans by several years (they have previously speculated on sending men to Mars in the 2030s, but Congress may insist for the publicly-funded space agency to focus on a nearer, less life-threatening voyage back to the moon, first.) NASA will help SpaceX logistically for the 2018 launch, but will not pay the Mars tab.
The 140-million-mile trek will be long and arduous (humans or not), but is already being compared to the voyage undertaken by the Pilgrims and other early colonists of America. The concept has been speculated on for some time, but is now within the realm of reality.
|For instance, we know better than to send Matt Damon, now.|
His ass is always needing to get rescued.
(Image courtesy variety.com.)
TechSavvy Global analyst Scott Steinberg explained, "The reality is that this technology has been promised for decades, but finally the technology is catching up with the promise…The question becomes how rapidly the technology is developed, and whether the costs are such this mission could be accomplished."
Those costs also include the human ones. Musk himself admits that there are significant guts that will have to be put on the line to achieve Martain glory. "Hopefully there’s enough people who are like that who are willing to go build the foundation, at great risk, for a Martian city," he told The Washington Post. "It’s dangerous and probably people will die—and they’ll know that."
OK, we’ve been warned. We’ll still sign the disclaimer and ship out (up?) the very instant the call for one-way Martian citizens goes out. In the meantime, can we try not to wreck up Earth any more than necessary? It’s going to take some time before your Martian apartment complex is 3-D printed from the regolith…
|Is it worth risking everything and leaving the only planet you've ever known|
just to wage conquest like no other human being ever has?
YES. SI. JA. And "ABSOLUTELY" in any other Earth language.
(Image courtesy space.com.)