What inspired Elon Musk to build rockets

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This content was published on September 28, 2016 - 02:10 am (Keystone-SDA)

The private space company SpaceX has set itself the goal of establishing and colonizing a colony on the planet Mars. SpaceX boss Elon Musk dreams that around a million people can live on Mars in the foreseeable future.

At some point the earth may no longer be habitable, then people should have alternatives, Musk said on Tuesday at the International Astronaut Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. "Humanity should become a multi-planetary species."

First, the cost of a trip to Mars would need to be reduced, which is currently around $ 10 billion per passenger, Musk said. To this end, SpaceX wants to build very large spaceships that can transport at least 100 people and large amounts of material. In addition, the spaceships should be reusable and can be loaded and refueled in orbit.

For the price of a luxury car

According to his ambitious plans, it is possible to reduce the costs to around 140,000 dollars per person, said Musk. Mars lends itself to colonization because it has sunlight and an atmosphere. The length of a day there is comparable to the earth and it is possible to grow plants.

First, SpaceX wants to send an unmanned spaceship to Mars. The first people will then travel to the Red Planet from 2025. Around a million people could live on Mars in the foreseeable future. "It's going to be a great adventure," said Musk. "Life is more than just solving problems every day. You should wake up every day and be inspired to try new things."

Raw material from Mars as fuel

SpaceX is developing the Raptor engine for the journey to Mars. It was first put into operation a few days ago. It should bring three meganewtons of thrust - more than three times as much as the engine of the current SpaceX rocket Falcon 9. Raptor is operated with liquid methane, which could also be obtained on Mars.

SpaceX has suffered a number of setbacks recently. In early September, a rocket from the company exploded when it was launched at the US spaceport Cape Canaveral in Florida and destroyed a Facebook satellite on board. SpaceX had already lost a rocket last year that was supposed to bring supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

In addition to his involvement with SpaceX, Musk is best known as the head of the electric car manufacturer Tesla.

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