The world is a rapidly growing place; so much so that human beings might be able to just pick up and move somewhere else. It has been talked about in what seems like every science fiction flick for the past 50 years, pondering questions such as: Are there aliens on Mars? Can life exist on Mars? What if we, as humans, were able to visit the Red Planet? Nowadays, it’s not a question of “if” we are able to go, but rather “when” we will be able to go.
SpaceX’s very own, Elon Musk, recently gave a presentation about this unique possibility occurring within the next 40 – 100 years. The same rocket that is being used for the first privatized Lunar mission, the Big Falcon Rocket, will also be used in the transportation of about 100 people across our solar system. One detail Musk has outlined above all else is how this company will begin to allocate costs and focus on larger goals. He said the main focus of the company will start to be invested in a single product line. SpaceX will begin to streamline their production by focusing on only one product. The Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon will all be fed into a much larger, more cost-effective design that can be reused to an estimated 100 times each. Each vessel is estimated to cost about $10 billion, with the obvious adjustments along the way.
Before colonization, a few obvious tests must be taken. To date, two cargo landers plan to land on Mars in year 2022. This would be for basic research of where to set up camp so that hazardous areas can be avoided or areas with water can be traced. From here, basic infrastructure can be set up for the first hopeful men and women on Mars. It is planned that by 2024, the first crew mission will take place and the first human being will walk along the true red rock of Mars.
Nevertheless, roadblocks clearly come about and ultimately hinder the process set in place. How realistic is it to colonize Mars this soon through a company like SpaceX, whose owner and CEO basically decides everything for two individual companies at the same time? Musk is running, publicizing, innovating, financially investing in and much, much more with two large state-of-the-art companies, one of which hasn’t even made a profit.
Yes, that’s right. Musk’s “side project,” Tesla Inc., has not made a single cent of profit to date, according to CNBC. However, under his ownership and dedication throughout the years, CNBC reported that Musk announced Tesla will be profitable after the final quarter of 2018 after many trying years.
Clearly this is a big goal and aspiration. Even if this adventure doesn’t occur for another 10 years, instead of only 6 as planned, the human race is taking a necessary step forward that SpaceX is more than capable of doing. Again, especially for a man like Musk and his admirable aspiration, it is more a question of when, not if. As if to say, should we even venture past our home planet, the mission to Mars is yet still a question of when, rather than if, regardless of the possible roadblocks in the near future. The worlds around us are ours to explore for many generations to come. Without some risk involved in the equation, the human race will not move forward for our kids, our kids’ kids, and so on.
Scientific advancements have been constantly occurring as long as time itself. What is to say exploring the vast depths of space is our metaphorical ceiling to stop us from “reaching the sky?” Neil Armstrong made the first step on our moon, moving the human race into depths we never knew to be true. Who will be that next man or woman to land on Mars? The planets we live around are free real estate to at least explore and a prime opportunity for our understanding of existence and being.