Since Elon Musk founded SpaceX, he’s been trying to make new advancements in space travel, and hasn’t slowed down. The space adventure that he’s been pushing most recently is colonizing Mars.
“Why Mars?” is the question that a lot of people ask. Mars is 140 million miles from Earth and its gravity is only 34% of the Earth’s. Mars is extremely dry and cold, and in the winter, the temperature on Mars can get as low as 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit) in the afternoon. That said, the Red Planet is the most habitable planet in our solar system so far besides Earth. Mars is just a giant desert biome–there isn’t a lot of water in liquid form. Back in 2002, Musk was concerned that NASA wasn’t putting in any effort to go to Mars, so that inspired him to start SpaceX. After all, our planet is an amazing place but is it capable of eleven billion people?
Musk has made some comments on SpaceX’s future plans and others have pieced the information together to come up with a timeline. Just this year SpaceX made the launch pad for the BFR. SpaceX plans to launch the BFR in 2024. Then if it all goes well humans might set foot on Mars in the year 2025–only 7 years away! Hard to fathom, isn’t it? Somebody asked Musk on Twitter when he thinks that SpaceX will have a base on Mars. Musk replied, “Probably 2028 for a base to be built.” In 2030 we may be able to expect the first space city.
All this sounds like a science fiction story, but it isn’t. Humans may be living on Mars in our lifetime–maybe even folks like you and I. I would certainly visit Mars if I got the opportunity. It would be an incredible experience just to be in space, let alone be in the first generation to visit the Red Planet. Personally, I wouldn’t want to live on Mars, but maybe my mind could change when enough others do.
If Musk’s plans succeed, hundreds of years from now he will be remembered as a visionary who made life on Mars possible.