SpaceX founder Elon Musk says 'Public support for life on Mars is critical to making it happen'

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says 'Public support for life on Mars is critical to making it happen'

Featured Image Source: @EliBurton_ and @mrkalopsia via Twitter 

Humans cannot remain confined to Earth forever. “The future of humanity is going to bifurcate in two directions: Either it’s going to become multiplanetary, or it’s going to remain confined to one planet and eventually there’s going to be an extinction event,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said. “It appears that consciousness is a very rare and precious thing and we should take whatever steps we can to preserve the light of consciousness. Only now, after 4.5 billion years has that window been open. That’s a long time to wait and it might not stay open for long [...],” he said at the 2019 Starship unveiling event. Ever since, SpaceX has been developing Starship at Boca Chica Beach rocket factory where engineers work around-the-clock to develop the spacecraft that could change the course of humanity’s future.

Outside of the Earth-Moon system, Mars is the only close celestial body that is a great candidate for human exploration and colonization. “Public support for life on Mars is critical to making it happen,” Musk said today, May 6, in a Twitter post. “Make humanity a multiplanet species!” he wrote. The Red Planet is a great candidate to make it humanity’s second home because it is a good distance from the sun and it is Earth’s closest neighbor at an average distance of 140 million miles, with gravity about 38% of that of Earth - so people would be able to lift heavy things. The Martian atmosphere is primarily carbon dioxide with some nitrogen, argon, and a bit of other trace elements, that could enable astronauts to compress the environment for plant growth. Mars' terrain also features subsurface ice-water, which is the most important element for human survival. Ice-water could be used for astronauts to drink and to synthesize oxygen to breathe. All of this offers the opportunity for In-situ resource utilization to build a sustainable settlement. “Given enough time SpaceX will get to Mars,” Musk said during the 2020 Humans To Mars conference. “We've got to build upon a Mars base and then we've got to build a city and get to the point where it's self-sustaining.”

“We need a lot of people fired up to go to Mars. It’s going to be kind of risky, but kind of a cool, fun adventure,” he said. “I want to emphasize that this is a very hard and dangerous difficult thing, not for the faint of heart … It's gonna’ be tough going and be pretty glorious if it works out.” SpaceX’s Starship development is on track, the company successfully landed a Starship prototype for the first time on Wednesday, May 5, during a high-altitude flight test. The landing marked a huge accomplishment for the company that aims to make flying and landing stainless-steel Starship vehicles routine in South Texas. SpaceX aims to have a Starship ready to transport astronauts to space in less than four years. NASA contracted SpaceX to develop a lunar-optimized Starship to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024 and the company targets to launch the first uncrewed cargo mission to Mars sometime by 2026. Musk hopes the first colony, "Mars Base Alpha," is established before 2050. Author's note: Thanks for supporting TESMANIAN! Twitter: Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Featured Image Source: @EliBurton_ via Twitter 

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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