Elon Musk wants to build city of Mars – a project that would be a precursor to making the planet more terrestrial.
On Wednesday, the CEO of SpaceX explained via Twitter that the city would include “living in glass domes from the beginning.” The planet will “eventually” be “terraformed to sustain life like Earth.” While the process of changing the planet would be “too slow to be relevant in our lives […] we can establish a human base there throughout our lives. “If the worst turns out to be the worst,” Musk explained, “at least one future space civilization ̵
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The comments outline SpaceX’s most ambitious plan: sending the first humans to Mars, building a city, and creating a permanent settlement. Not a big deal.
While Musk does not believe that humans will terraform the planet for life, he said in 2019 that the SpaceX plan will allow humanity to “become a multiplanetary civilization while this window is open.”
The company is currently developing Starship to complete the first step in this plan. The fully usable spacecraft, measuring about 400 feet high when paired with the Super Heavy amplifier, is designed to send more than 150 tons or 100 people into space at once. SpaceX launched a full-size prototype of the ship in August at an altitude of 500 feet and plans to launch even higher over time.
Its Raptor engines use liquid oxygen and methane as fuel, unlike Falcon 9’s Merlin kerosene engines. This means that humans can land on Mars, collect fuel from the planet and return home or move on. . The New York-based Air Company launched projects for such a gas station in October.
SpaceX has confirmed that the gas station will be part of the original base, with the ships acting as original habitats. In October, Musk claimed that Starship’s first manned missions could begin in 2026.
From there, the company plans to expand the base and make it self-sustaining. SpaceX engineer Paul Worcester explained in September 2018 that the initial focus will be on creating life support systems that allow surface energy, habitat development and greenhouse construction. As the city grows, it can support research projects in a similar way to the International Space Station. Earlier, Musk suggested that the planet may even host pizzerias.
Terraforming will come much later, probably after the release of carbon dioxide stored inside the planet. In August 2018, Musk shared a 1993 research article claiming that people could vacate stores, orbit Mars only with a respirator, and deny the need for a spacesuit. One of the author’s documents, the president of the Martian Society Robert Zubrin, claims that the soil may contain enough carbon dioxide to create an atmosphere of 300 millibars – comparable to that of Mount Everest.
The Back analysis – Musk may never achieve his long-term goal, but the vision really excites the Starship project and SpaceX’s plans to improve rocket technology.
There are some questionable elements of the plan. Researchers Bruce Jacoski of the University of Colorado Boulder and Christopher C. Edwards of the University of Northern Arizona found in August 2018 that Mars could only have enough carbon dioxide to create an atmosphere of 15 millibars.
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma clashed with Musk in August 2019 over plans that could cost up to one percent of the world’s gross domestic product, saying the Earth “needs more heroes.”
Professor of Economics Gunther Lang, spoke to Back,, also suggested the city struggle to attract wealthy citizens to Earth willing to pay for the trip.
But the excitement caused by the long-term proposal could help support shorter-term goals, such as building a foundation and supporting scientific discoveries. These goals are more likely to lead to results in Musk’s life.