SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has made a very exciting announcement regarding his stated goal of traveling to Mars. Last week, while accepting an award for his contributions to commercial space travel at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, Musk told of his plans to shuttle 80,000 people to the Red Planet. The price per person is said to be about $500,000, "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," said Musk, according to

But you need more than just willing participants to colonize Mars. Mass amounts of equipment, supplies and resources would need to be shipped along with the colonists, to construct livable environments capable of producing food.

Musk estimates the entire cost of the program to be around $36 billion, but hopes that governments would be involved in some sort of subsidy.

"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 American colonies; 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 says the plan is to have the first stage of the reusable rockets ready within the next 5 or 6 years. The plan may sound farfetched, but so did an electric sports car and commercial space travel at one time.


TRANSLOGIC 76: Elon Musk Interview, SpaceX

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