SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Monday said he is ready to send humans to the red planet within the next decade. Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, Musk wrote, "I'm confident moving to Mars ... will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k," Musk tweeted on Sunday, "low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want." He added that if anyone decides they don't like Mars (there are plenty of reasons to hate it), a "return ticket is free."
ALSO READ | Ultima Thule is like a pancake, NASA's New Horizons unveils the unique shape
SpaceX is working to complete the Starship, a fully reusable stainless steel vehicle designed to comfortably transport around 100 humans to Mars and even beyond. The Starship uses liquid oxygen and methane to power its Raptor engines, meaning humans can set up a propellant plant on Mars to create more fuel and return to Earth. Musk claimed on Monday that “there’s a path” to building the Starship for less than the Falcon 9 SpaceX currently uses to send satellites into space, estimated to cost $62 million, according to Inverse report.
Part of Musk’s plan is to make the cost of upping sticks and moving to Mars as attractive as possible, as Mars will need large numbers of people to help develop a sustainable colony. Musk said at the 2016 International Astronautical Congress that “Mars would have labour shortage for a long time so jobs wouldn’t be in short supply.” To make the offer attractive, Musk explained that the company would have to bring the cost of moving down to the median cost of a house in the United States at around $200,000. Reaching this figure, Musk said, would mean “the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high,” Inverse reported.
SpaceX's achievements include the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008) the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010), the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012) the first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015), the first reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017), and the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun (Falcon Heavy's payload of a Tesla Roadster in 2018). SpaceX has flown 16 resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under a partnership with NASA.