We all watch sci-fi movies and we’d be lying to ourselves if we said we never imagined ourselves in a fictional world of a different planet. If I said to you a little while ago that humans might actually be able to lead a life on Mars within our lifetimes you’d probably call me a lunatic.
But if Elon Musk has his way, we may well see a previously far-fetched dream come true. Yes, he actually plans to send people to Mars and not just to roam around and plant pompous flags of their nations. He wants 1 million people on Mars, a number he deems adequate to start a colony.
At a conference in Mexico on 27th September 2016, he unveiled the most powerful spaceship ever built which is designed to carry at least 100 people per flight to mars, the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).
Elon Musk said, “If all goes according to plan, the reusable ITS will help humanity establish a permanent, self-sustaining colony on the Red Planet within the next 50 to 100 years.”
“What I really want to do here is to make Mars seem possible—make it seem as though it’s something that we could do in our lifetimes, and that you can go,” he added.
When the ITS is actually up and running, there will be as many as 1000 or more ships launching into orbit set for a Mars landing every 26 months. It will carry about a 100-200 people per trip.
It will likely feature movie theatres, restaurants, and lecture halls. That will definitely ensure that those who’re travelling get at least a little more entertainment as compared to the conventional astronauts who are crammed into their fun-filled minuscule capsules on their way to the moon.
The main motive cited by Elon Musk for such effort is his vision for humankind. He wishes humans to be a multi-planet species capable of travelling through space leaving them less vulnerable to extinction.
While all this sounds astounding in theory, it’s worthless if SpaceX is not able to capitalize on their claims. There have been many ‘scientific breakthroughs’ which could not transcend mere words. But if he somehow does manage to fulfill his dream, it would be miraculous for the whole of humanity.
I think I’ll sit on the fence with the credibility of his words, secretly wishing that he does prove me wrong. (fingers crossed)