Elon Musk Mars City by 2050
Elon Musk is very keen to get us to Mars, really fast. Musk had a dream of Mars being colonized since he was probably in his teens, however he is only now able to materialize his dreams and ideas. The idea of Mars city might seem odd to some, especially knowing how difficult is to build a simple habitat on Mars, let alone the entire city!
Elon Musk has a plan, however his plan might take some doing. Yes, it will be possible to build a Mars city, well I wouldn’t call it a city, more of a tiny hamlet, but could be done. The Starship will be critical to Musk’s plans. The stainless steel ship is designed to send up to 100 people in space at once. Raptor engine that powers the Starship, uses liquid oxygen and methane and through simple chemical conversion it’ll be possible to convert Carbon Dioxide on Mars in to fuel, using fuel plants that could be integrated in to Starship or sent to Mars beforehand.
The orbital synchronizations Musk is referring to is the point when the Earth and Mars are in closest alignment, which occurs around every 26 months. That’s the ideal time for a launch, as the distance between the two is reduced to around 50-55 million kilometres. Because the two planets follow an egg-shaped orbit, not every alignment is equal.
Elon musk hoped take advantage of the upcoming synchronizations, due in 2022 and 2024. However, this timetable was somewhat optimistic, the plan was to send two unmanned Cargo Starships to Mars in 2022, with each one capable of carrying 100 tons of cargo ready for the first humans. The first manned mission would take place in the second synchronization, 2024, sending two manned Starships alongside two further cargo Starships. The six ships in total would carry around double the mass of the International Space Station.
Musk admitted himself his plan was a long shot. He has since announced plans to send Japanese billionaire Yukazu Maezawa, alongside six to eight artists, on a trip around the moon in 2023. Subsequent comments suggest this could be Starship’s first manned mission.
Each orbital synchronization would likely be dedicated to building out the base, initially focused on life support and fuel production and gradually adding more habitats and support structures and large farm modules for ever growing Martian community. If all goes well, Mars colony could take shape in 10 to 12 years from now.
Recently I’ve posted video of amazing Mars Habitat, entirely built by a swarm of smart Mars rovers that will 3D print the very first habitats on Mars for people to live in. The concept struck me as most ingenious and very smart use of limited resources and absolute reliance on 3D printing and sustainability. If Elon Musk could produce something similar, and just scale it up to industrial scale, he could theoretically with just 2 Starship ensure sizable community on mars can be sustained using only local resources, including water that can be extracted from Martian regolith and air, as well as fuel for Starships.
The longer term, large farming domes and habitats could dominate future Martian landscape, with thousands of people living of the land, literally. I remain very hopeful we could see first humans on their way to Mars in not too distant future.