Mars Colony: Be The First To Live On The Red Planet For $500,000, Thanks To SpaceX Founder Elon Musk

By Amir Khan on November 26, 2012 9:33 AM EST

Mars
Elon Musk, founder of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, is has his eye on forming a Mars colony, and you can be part one of the first Martian explorers for only $500,000. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Elon Musk, founder of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, has his eye on forming a Mars colony, and you can be part one of the first Martian explorers for only $500,000. The Mars colony would be part of a Mars settlement program, and Musk envisions ferrying up to 80,000 people to the red planet as part of the first Mars colony.

The Mars settlement program would start with 10 people who would journey on to Mars on a reusable rocket created by SpaceX powered by liquid oxygen and methane, according to Yahoo! News.

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"At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big," Space.com reports Musk said.

In order to properly colonize Mars, red planet pioneers would need to bring machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen and a way to produce water. Domes would also be needed to grow crops.

If being one of the first Martian colonists sounds appealing to you, all it will cost you is $500,000.

"The ticket price needs to be low enough that most people in advanced countries, in their mid-forties or something like that, could put together enough money to make the trip," Musk said.

In total, Musk said he estimates that the Mars settlement program would cost approximately $36 billion -- meaning 80,000 people paying their fare could fund the entire program.

"Some money has to be spent on establishing a base on Mars. It's about getting the basic fundamentals in place," Musk said. "That was true of the English colonies [in the Americas]; it took a significant expense to get things started. But once there are regular Mars flights, you can get the cost down to half a million dollars for someone to move to Mars. Then I think there are enough people who would buy that to have it be a reasonable business case."

Musk made headlines earlier this year when his private spaceflight company, SpaceX completed the world's first commercial space program by delivering goods to the International Space Station.

"What this mission really does is it heralds the dawn of a new era of space exploration, one where there is a significant commercial space element,"iScienceTimes previously reported Musk said at the time.

The founder of SpaceX said he hopes to bring astronauts aboard the Dragon capsule within the next few years, according to Forbes. SpaceX completed its first crew trial on Friday, demonstrating that the capsule could carry either seven crew members or 13,000 pounds (5,900 kilograms) of cargo safely.

NASA currently relies on Russian capsules to transport crew to the ISS.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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