South African-born physicist and entrepreneur Elon Musk presented details of the Martian colony he conceived more than four years ago in a new article published by New Space. In “Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species,” Musk, developer of the Tesla electric automobile and currently CEO of SpaceX, explains what’s needed “for future manned trips to other planets and specifically what will be needed to create a self-sustaining city on Mars.” The article was drawn from Musk’s recent presentation at last fall’s 67th International Astronautical Congress held in Guadalajara Mexico.
Musk has often said he finds the idea of exploring other planets an idea too exciting to ignore. Believing the red planet is the only one in our solar system that represents a realistic option for manned space exploration, Musk’s article offers numerous advantages to choosing Mars. He also reviews the system architecture required for a spaceship capable of transporting people and supplies. A man who relishes efficiency in nearly everything, Musk believes there’s a need to improve the cost per ton of transporting materials to Mars by 5 million percent.
Stanford University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Editor-in-Chief Scott Hubbard commented, “In my view, publishing this paper provides not only an opportunity for the spacefaring community to read the SpaceX vision in print with all the charts in context, but also serves as a valuable archival reference for future studies and planning.” Hubbard hopes to make New Space the top forum for exploration paths that suggest an entrepreneurial path for humans traveling into deep space.
When asked during an earlier interview about his ability to create inventions others have only dreamed of such as the Tesla, PayPal and the Space-X reusable space vehicle, Musk pointed to a simple tool that’s integral to his success: Soliciting critical feedback from his friends. The article is available for free downloading until July 5, 2017.