Elon Musk Wants To Put 1 Million People On Mars To Guarantee The Future Of Mankind
Elon Musk believes that humanity’s survival is not a guarantee unless we put a million-person colony on Mars.
The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla told online magazine Aeon that developing space colonies should be as much of a priority as finding solutions to global problems.
I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary… in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct.
Musk has been selling the potential benefits of space colonization for years, which he says comes from his love of humanity.
He says of mankind’s importance,
I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.
Successfully maintaining a civilization on Mars, he says, would take at least a million people because there are no natural resources readily available.
Even at a million, you’re really assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars.
You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.
The 43-year-old native of South Africa says that a Mars colony could be a possibility within the next 30 years.
The key will be the creation of ships that can launch massive fleets of colonists at a time.
Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people.
In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we’re talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.
The cost of transportation will be a major factor as well, but Musk says he already has an answer.
He is currently working on a giant rocket that, once it returns to Earth, can be ready to take off again in as little as an hour.
After Mars, Musk says, humans will look to colonize the entire solar system, including moons and asteroids.
He declared at the end of the interview that sending astronauts as far as the stars or distant solar systems won’t be possible without the colonization of other planets.
SpaceX and Boeing were given a $6.8 million contract earlier this month to create space taxis that will take astronauts to the International Space Station.