It is not the first time that Elon Musk has spoken about his plans to colonise Mars, but now his detailed vision has been made public, including how much it is going to cost and what he wants to build first.
The billionaire SpaceX CEO already set a date for landing a spacecraft on the red planet - 2018 - and to set the ball rolling on his ambition to build the first self-sustaining city on another planet.
Published in New Space magazine, Musk said: “I want to make Mars seem possible—make it seem as though it is something that we can do in our lifetime. There really is a way that anyone could go if they wanted to.”
He maintains that if humanity continues to stay only on Earth, we will be wiped out by an extinction event and instead we should become a multi-planetary species.
And this is the way to do it.
Currently Musk predicts that a one-way ticket to Mars would cost about $10 billion per person, but he wants to get this price down to match the average house price in the United States, which is $200,000 - a figure he hopes will motivate people to move.
“Then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high. I think it would almost certainly occur,” he said.
One of the first things we would need to build would in our new home would be a space propellant plant.
This is in order to avoid a “graveyard” of rockets that could not be reused, Musk said: “It would be pretty absurd to try to build a city on Mars if your spaceships just stayed on Mars and did not go back to Earth.”
The weather in our new home will be “a little cold” because it is further from the sun, but we can warm it up according to Musk.
Everything will be powered by solar panels, which maybe we’ll be used to by then, but our atmosphere will be slightly different - being carbon dioxide heavy.
Not only will our environment change, we will all be different, developing superhuman strength. As gravity is about 37% of that we are used to on Earth you would be able to lift heavy things and “bound around” (although we might need to invest in some fixed furniture).
So, any volunteers?