SpaceX Mars City: Why, when, and how Elon Musk wants to build his ambitious plan (2023)

Ready to live on Mars? It may not happen for a while, as Elon Musk recently revealed that astronauts on the red planet could finally become reality by 2029.

The SpaceX CEO has a long-standing vision of establishing a city on the Red Planet. It would be self-sustaining, would be home to one million people, and would transform humanity into a multi-planet species. It is perhaps Musk’s most ambitious goal, one that could keep him occupied for the next three decades.

"Why are we doing this?" Musk said at the company's February 2022 Starship progress update. "I think this is an incredibly important thing for the future of life itself ... there's always some chance that something could go wrong on Earth. Dinosaurs are not around anymore!"

Musk also explained how, being a simple insurance policy, the plan is aimed at building something inspiring.

"Life can't just be about solving problems," Musk said. "There have to be things that inspire you, that move your heart. When you wake up in the morning, you're excited about the future."

But while fans originally expected to see the first humans reach March by the mid-2020s, Musk revealed on his Twitter page this week that an image with astronauts on the red planet would more likely come to life sometime in 2029.

And as recent research shows, the landscape of Mars is pretty treacherous. Astronauts will face surprise obstacles like dust collecting on solar panels, as well as tiny Mars rocks that have caused havoc with NASA’s Curiosity mission.

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Here is what you need to know about Musk’s mission.

What is the Mars city?

Musk plans to build a full-size city on the surface of Mars. This would be a city open to regular people, not just scientists and researchers.

People interested in moving to Mars could pay for their flight with a loan. Once there, people would be able to pay off the loan by working in anything from iron foundries to pizzerias. Musk declared at a 2016 conference that there would be labor shortages for a long time.

This city would be free to govern itself on its own terms, as indicated by the Starlink internet service terms and conditions released in October 2020. This appears to stand in contradiction to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which states that the launch origin country is responsible for subsequent space activities. David Anderman, who served as SpaceX’s general counsel when the terms were released, suggested to Inverse in 2021 that the two documents may be set on a collision course.

(Video) SPACEX MARS CITY: WHY, WHEN, AND HOW ELON MUSK WANTS TO BUILD HIS AMBITIOUS PLAN

Musk estimated in 2019 that it would take around one million tons of cargo to build a self-sustaining city on Mars. Assuming it costs $100,000 per ton to send cargo to Mars with the upcoming Starship, that would put a Mars city’s price at around $100 billion. At the high end, Musk estimates it could cost around $10 trillion.

SpaceX may not stop with just one city, however. Paul Wooster, principal Mars development engineer for SpaceX, said at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention in August 2022 that SpaceX could build multiple cities:

“The idea would be to expand out, start off not just with an outpost, but grow into a larger base, not just like there are in Antarctica, but really a village, a town, growing into a city and then multiple cities on Mars."

Why does Elon Musk want to build a city on Mars?

Musk’s stated aim is to transform humanity into a multi-planet species.

Over the years, he has listed reasons as to why humanity would want to expand into the universe. One theme he regularly lists is that a life-ending event on Earth could spell the end of humanity — but humanity could live on if it’s able to set up base on a new planet like Mars.

“Earth is ~4.5B years old, but life is still not multiplanetary and it is extremely uncertain how much time is left to become so,” Musk wrote on Twitter in November 2021. Beyond very worst-case scenario climate change, a surprise meteor strike could also wipe out humanity.

Another reason, as he suggested in September 2018, is because it’s a reason to keep on living:

“There’s so many things that make people sad or depressed about the future, but I think becoming a space-faring civilization is one of those things that makes you excited about the future.”

In February 2022, Musk also declared that a reason for humanity to expand is because we are “life’s guardians...the creatures that we love cannot build spaceships, but we can, and we can bring them with us.”

During an April 2021 appearance covered by CNBC, Musk indicated that another reason to go back was because humanity had barely ventured into space since the lunar landings:

“It's been now almost half a century since humans were last on the moon. That's too long, we need to get back there and have a permanent base on the moon — again, like a big permanently occupied base on the moon. And then build a city on Mars to become a spacefaring civilization, a multi-planet species.”

Musk isn’t the first person to call for humanity to colonize another planet — professor Stephen Hawking said in 2017 that humans would need to expand out within 100 years if they hoped to survive. However, astrophysicist Martin Rees said in response to Hawking and Musk that the idea was a “dangerous delusion [...] dealing with climate change on Earth is a doddle compared to making Mars habitable.”

When did Musk first get the idea for a Mars city?

It’s hard to say when he first got this idea — Ashlee Vance’s 2015 biography claims that “by the middle of his teenage years” he’d come to see “man’s fate in the universe” as his “personal obligation.” He was inspired by science fiction novels like Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The book also cites Terency Beney, who went to school with Musk. Beney claims that Musk was already thinking about colonizing other planets in his early years.

In 2001, Musk attended a meeting of the non-profit Mars Society group. During the event, Musk learned about the group’s plans to send mice into space to inspire people. Musk started considering the prospect of sending them to Mars instead, an idea that eventually led to him founding SpaceX.

In 2007, before SpaceX had even launched its first rocket to orbit, Musk told Wired that in 30 years there would be a base on the Moon and Mars.

(Video) Elon Musk Reveals Plan To Colonize Mars

The idea took on new form in 2016, when he gave a speech at the International Astronautical Congress about his idea to make humanity into a multi-planet species.

How will Elon Musk build a city on Mars?

Central to the plan is the Starship. This fully-reusable rocket, currently under development in Texas, will enable SpaceX to send humans and cargo to Mars. The ship will be capable of launching over 100 tons or 100 people into space at a time.

Its use of liquid oxygen and methane as fuel, rather than the rocket propellant used in the Falcon 9, means explorers can fly to Mars, refuel using resources found on the planet, and fly back to Earth. The astronauts could even venture out further into space, building a planet-hopping network of refueling stations along the way.

The ship is expected to host its first flight sometime this year. While the company’s primary goal is to fly the ship from the Starbase facility in Texas, Musk has indicated that the team is also preparing to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida should too many delays arise. This backup plan may have led to a delay to a planned expansion to Starbase.

In November 2018, Neil deGrasse Tyson declared that "a whole category of war has the potential of evaporating entirely" with planet-hopping technology. That's because humans would have the ability to venture out further and mine resources from even further away.

"In space, you have no need to fight a war, just go to another asteroid and get your resources," deGrasse said.

It’s not going to be easy. In November 2018, Musk likened the ads for going to Mars to the ads for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic:

“Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

Although the ads probably never existed, recent expeditions to Mars have revealed Musk may be correct about the dangers from the planet.

In December 2021, the Hope mission to Mars hosted by the United Arab Emirates encountered a dust storm. It quickly advanced the thousands of miles wide, passing over the crater containing NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. The storm lasted until January 14.

The events showed how the weather on Mars can be surprisingly brutal, especially in comparison to the weather on Earth. Dust storms that blow over solar panels can render them less effective, depriving a space station of vital electricity.

Dust isn’t the only obstacle the astronauts will face. In April 2022, NASA revealed that the Curiosity rover had to give up its ongoing expedition route due to ventifacts — sharp rocks that could damage the rover’s wheels.

Perhaps rather aptly, the mountain Curiosity was trying to climb is called Mount Sharp.

Does Jeff Bezos agree with Elon Musk’s Mars city idea?

Not everybody in the space industry agrees with Musk’s vision. Jeff Bezos, founder of rival firm Blue Origin, prefers to build giant orbiting cities near Earth to expand humanity.

(Video) How Elon Musk Is Thinking To Colonize Mars By 2050 | Space Race | Elon Musk NEWS

In May 2019, Bezos cited research from physicist Gerard K. O’Neill. He asked a key question: is a planetary surface the best place for humans to expand into the solar system? O’Neill decided the answer was no for three key reasons:

  1. The planetary surfaces aren’t that big. Humans would maybe, at best, double the amount of available land surface.
  2. They’re a long way away. A round trip to Mars would take years — the Earth and Mars align once every 22 months, and the trip itself would take a few months depending on the rocket.
  3. There won’t be any real-time communications with Earth because of the distance. It takes around 20 minutes to send a signal to Mars, much slower than the tens of milliseconds it takes to communicate over the internet.

Instead, Bezos prefers to build O’Neill-style colonies in Earth’s orbit. This, he claims, could support up to one trillion humans.

Musk responded to Bezos’ vision later that month:

“Makes no sense. In order to grow the colony, you’d have to transport vast amounts of mass from planets/moons/asteroids. Would be like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!”

What is the design for the Mars city?

During Musk’s 2017 International Astronautical Congress presentation, he revealed images of how the city may look:

The city would begin initially with a series of bases, gradually expanding out over time.

How much will it cost to take a spaceship to the Mars city?

Musk claimed in 2019 that a return ticket could cost around $500,000 initially, dropping to $100,000 over time. Musk’s goal in 2016 was to reach a ticket price of around the median price of a house in the United States. That would suggest people could sell their house to move to Mars.

Another option, Musk suggested, would be a personal loan. Visitors would pay off the loan by getting a job to help fill the city’s labor shortages. It’s an idea that arguably bears resemblance to 19th-century American company towns, where employees lived in a city owned by their employer. Especially in the early days, Mars may not have many choices for local employment — and you’ll need to pay off that loan for your flight.

Guenter Lang, an economics professor at Kühne Logistics University in Germany, drew this plan into question in a May 2019 interview with Inverse. After all, if you’re rich enough to go, why would you give up that luxury?

When will SpaceX build a city on Mars?

In 2017, Musk outlined an “aspirational” plan to send two cargo ships to Mars as early as 2022. It would then send four ships at the next closest approach — two crewed ships and two cargo ships — in 2024.

(Video) Elon Musk Details Ambitious Plan For Colonizing Mars

However, in March 2022, Musk suggested on Twitter that a more likely date for humanity to witness the first humans on Mars would perhaps be 2029. It’s also possible, however, that Musk was referencing the Moon landing that took place in 1969 — making it a round 60 years between the two feats.

Mars and Earth are at their closest around once every 26 months. The distance between the two at this time reduces to around 33.9 million miles.

In March 2019, Musk wrote on Twitter that “it’s possible to make a self-sustaining city on Mars by 2050, if we start in 5 years & take 10 orbital synchronizations.” With 26 months between synchronizations, that would mean it would take around 22 years at a minimum to build the city.

Musk has set himself the deadline of a self-sustaining Mars city with 1 million people by 2050. Musk would turn 79 years old that year.

As SpaceX has yet to even host its first orbital flight with the Starship, it seems unlikely that it will send the first cargo ships this year. If SpaceX adjusts its plans to a more realistic late 2020s deadline, it’s perhaps more possible that Musk could indeed meet his goal.

Will Elon Musk terraform Mars?

Probably not in his lifetime, but he does have some ideas.

At SpaceX’s headquarters, next to the lobby, the company has two images that show a before and after of a terraformed Mars:

The current surface temperature on Mars is an average of minus 63 degrees Celsius, or minus 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Musk’s idea is to heat up the planet’s poles to release stores of frozen carbon dioxide. This would use a series of continuous, low fallout nuclear fusion explosions to act as artificial suns.

The idea would be to use the carbon dioxide stores to create a more hospitable atmosphere. Humans could then walk around the planet using just a breathing apparatus.

That’s the theory, at least. In practice, Bruce Jakosky and Christopher S. Edwards published a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy back in 2018 that drew that plan into question. It argued there is “not enough CO2 remaining on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming were the gas to be emplaced into the atmosphere.”

The paper found that vaporizing Mars’ carbon-rich sedimentary rocks would release enough gas for around 12 millibars of atmospheric pressure. By comparison, Earth’s atmosphere is around 1,000 millibars at sea level.

Jakosky and Edwards publicly discussed with Musk as to whether there was enough carbon dioxide lurking beneath the surface. The three seemed to agree, however, that the technology to terraform Mars is some ways away yet.

Mars city first, then the rest later.

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(Video) Elon Musk's Ambitious Plan To Colonize Mars

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FAQs

Why did Elon Musk build a city on Mars? ›

Why does Elon Musk want to build a city on Mars? Musk's stated aim is to transform humanity into a multi-planet species. Over the years, he has listed reasons as to why humanity would want to expand into the universe.

What were Elon Musk's motives for creating SpaceX? ›

Why was SpaceX created? In 2002 SpaceX was created by entrepreneur Elon Musk, whose stated goals were to revolutionize the aerospace industry and to make spaceflight more affordable.

What are SpaceX goals for Mars? ›

For years, Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX, has talked of making humanity an interplanetary species by someday sending colonists to Mars. The company is building a giant spacecraft, Starship, with that goal in mind.

Where does Elon Musk want to build his city? ›

Elon Musk has made no secret of his intention to found a settlement on Mars, but his latest venture is to establish a city on Earth. Sited around the SpaceX South Texas launch site at Boca Chica, Musk's idea is to call the city Starbase, Texas.

Why does Elon Musk wants to go to Mars? ›

As for the ultimate mission, Musk wants to make life multiplanetary, sending humans and other organisms on Earth to Mars and beyond. He fielded questions about whether or not it was a good idea or not to spend money on, well, moon shot projects while there were problems on Earth.

What is Elon Musk planning to do? ›

Here's the rundown: Musk plans to increase Twitter's annual revenue to a whopping $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion in 2021. By then, he also plans to reach 931 million users, up from 217 million at the end of 2021, with average revenue per user also increasing to $30.22, up from $24.83 last year.

What drives Elon Musk to success? ›

The open mindset of big thinking is one of the prime factors of his success. Elon always had big plans and big dreams. He believes in the fact that big dreams prepare us for a higher level and demand higher work output with different thinking.

What motivates Elon Musk work? ›

“I'm motivated by curiosity more than anything, and just a desire to think about the future and not be sad,” he said in the interview.

What is purpose of SpaceX? ›

SpaceX is a private spaceflight company that sends satellites and people to space, including NASA crews to the International Space Station (ISS). Founder Elon Musk is also creating and testing a Starship system for lunar landings and, he hopes, future crewed Mars missions.

Why are we trying to go to Mars? ›

The scientific reasons for going to Mars can be summarised by the search for life, understanding the surface and the planet's evolution, and preparing for future human exploration. Understanding whether life existed elsewhere in the Universe beyond Earth is a fundamental question of humankind.

What are the benefits of going to Mars? ›

It is an ideal place to search for the residues of microbial life, test new technologies, and lay the groundwork for human exploration down the road. The mission plans to investigate whether microbial life existed on Mars billions of years ago and therefore that life is not unique to Planet Earth.

What does SpaceX want to accomplish in the future? ›

MAKING HUMANITY MULTIPLANETARY. Building on the achievements of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is working on a next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built, capable of carrying humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

What is Elon Musk plan for Mars? ›

Musk has long seen a visit to Mars as a goal. In 2016, he said he wanted to build a rocket capable of taking people to Mars and supporting a permanent city on the planet.

Does Elon Musk want to live on Mars? ›

Elon Musk Is Not Long for This World

In fact, according to Grimes's new Vanity Fair profile, Musk's current plan is to be in space by 2030. Apparently, Musk told Grimes he wanted to leave for Mars in ten years back in 2020 when she was pregnant with their first child. “I said, 'Could we make it 20?

How will Elon Musk colonize Mars? ›

How SpaceX And Elon Musk Will Colonize Mars! (2022 Update)

Does Elon Musk want to build a city on Mars? ›

Musk, the 50-year-old SpaceX founder and CEO who was named Time's Person of the Year, has big plans for the Red Planet: namely, a self-sustaining city with solar-powered hydroponic farms where humans can permanently live, 34 million miles away from Earth.

When Elon Musk going to Mars? ›

Elon Musk's SpaceX COO says manned missions will reach Mars by 2030. NASA says otherwise. Humanity could reach the Red Planet and the Moon sooner than we think. SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gwynne Shotwell said a crewed mission to Mars could happen before the end of the 2020s.

Why does Elon Musk want to go to Mars Quora? ›

Musk is pretty specific that he wants a self sufficient colony on Mars. And there's plenty of people out there who would be quite happy to sign up for the trip.

How much will a ticket to Mars cost? ›

In a conversation with the head of TED, Chris Anderson, published on Monday, Mr Musk reiterated that he aims to colonise Mars by building a self-sustaining city of a million people on the planet. In the past, Mr Musk has estimated that a ticket to Mars on a SpaceX flight would cost between $100,000 and $500,00.

What is Elon Musk's IQ? ›

Elon's IQ is estimated to be around 155, while Albert Einstein's is 160. With such a slight margin, Musk is undoubtedly an incredibly smart person. Who is the smartest person on earth in 2022?

How much money would it cost to go to Mars? ›

NASA's Perseverance rover has become the latest to touch down safely on the red planet. The mission is expected to cost $2.7 billion, rising to $2.9 billion when inflation is factored in.

Is Elon Musk the richest man in the world? ›

Key facts about Elon Musk

Estimated net worth of $254 billion as of August 2022, making him the richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg. He is nearly $90 billion ahead of the man in second place, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Leads four ventures: Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company.

What personality type is Elon Musk? ›

As an INTJ, Elon tends to be confident, analytical, and ambitious. Elon is likely an independent thinker focused on solving the world's problems.

What skills do Elon Musk have? ›

His expertise ranges from rocket science, engineering, construction, tunneling, physics, and artificial intelligence to solar power and energy. In a previous article, I call people like Elon Musk modern polymaths. Modern polymaths: Follow the 5-hour rule and put at least 5 hours per week into learning.

How does Elon Musk keep his employees motivated? ›

How does Elon Musk motivate his employees? Musk has a very clear vision for his companies, and he communicates this to his employees. For example, at SpaceX, the mission is to “enable humans to become a multi-planetary species”. This clear mission inspires employees and gives them a sense of purpose.

What is Elon Musk management style? ›

Musk's management style can be described as direct, for one, and opposed to the chain of command, with him even issuing a warning against the practice to some employees in 2018, as detailed in a report from Inc.com.

Who owns space? ›

There is no claim for sovereignty in space; no nation can “own” space, the Moon or any other body. Weapons of mass destruction are forbidden in orbit and beyond, and the Moon, the planets, and other celestial bodies can only be used for peaceful purposes.

How SpaceX is changing the world? ›

Now, 20 years later, SpaceX is a dominating force of its own. The company aims to build out its 2,000-satellite-strong Starlink internet constellation to hold perhaps 30,000 spacecraft. It's ramping up an orbital space tourism program and is the sole U.S. provider for crewed missions to the International Space Station.

Does SpaceX make money? ›

SpaceX makes money by building innovative space exploration and communications technologies. The company is focused on lowering the cost of space transport by redesigning technology and reusing rockets.

Why is Mars the best planet to live on? ›

Despite its sub-zero temperatures (on average -63°C), thin toxic carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere, radiation, lack of surface liquid water and savage global dust storms, Mars actually has the most clement environment in the Solar System after the Earth.

Does Mars have oxygen? ›

If humans are ever going to travel to Mars, they'll need to get oxygen from somewhere. Compared to the Earth's atmosphere, which is 21 percent oxygen, the Red Planet's atmosphere is a miniscule 0.16 percent oxygen.

Can we send a man to Mars? ›

The first crewed Mars Mission, which would include sending astronauts to Mars, orbiting Mars, and a return to Earth, is proposed for the 2030s.

Who reached Mars first? ›

NASA's Mariner 4 was the first craft to finally reach Mars. The spacecraft launched on Nov. 28, 1964, and was the first to fly by the planet on July 14, 1965. It sent 21 photos of its target back to Earth.

How many humans are there on Mars? ›

Zero. There are no known human beings on the planet mars.

What is Elon Musk's ultimate goal? ›

Elon Musk: My Main Goal Is to Get Humanity to Mars Before I Die.

Is Elon Musk building a hotel on Mars? ›

Having searched through the available evidence, Daily Trust can confirm that the posts and reports claiming that Elon Musk will soon open a hotel in Mars for 5 million dollars per night is false and misleading.

How does SpaceX make space travel more affordable? ›

With the launch of its first reusable rocket in recent years, it is probable that this will help SpaceX to further bring down rocket launch costs. A reusable rocket adds economies of scale to operations. Thus, the more times a rocket is reused, the cheaper its launch costs become.

Can we live on Mars? ›

If you tried to breathe on the surface of Mars without a spacesuit supplying your oxygen – bad idea – you would die in an instant. You would suffocate, and because of the low atmospheric pressure, your blood would boil, both at about the same time.

Do people live in Mars? ›

To date, no proof of past or present life has been found on Mars. Cumulative evidence suggests that during the ancient Noachian time period, the surface environment of Mars had liquid water and may have been habitable for microorganisms, but habitable conditions do not necessarily indicate life.

How long is a year on Mars? ›

The Earth zips around the Sun at about 67,000 miles per hour, making a full revolution in about 365 days - one year on Earth. Mars is a little slower, and farther from the sun, so a full circuit takes 687 Earth days - or one Mars year. That longer year means longer seasons too.

What did Elon Musk say about life on Mars? ›

It's difficult, it's hard work,'" Musk said. Living on Mars, a planet with an average temperature of -80 degrees Fahrenheit, would be far more difficult than living in Antarctica, a region with an average temperature of -70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mars has a rocky surface, riddled with volcanoes and canyons.

How will people live on Mars? ›

Human survival on Mars would require living in artificial Mars habitats with complex life-support systems. One key aspect of this would be water processing systems. Being made mainly of water, a human being would die in a matter of days without it.

How long trip to Mars SpaceX? ›

The spacecraft departs Earth at a speed of about 24,600 mph (about 39,600 kph). The trip to Mars will take about seven months and about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers).

Can we breathe in Mars? ›

But on Mars, carbon dioxide is 96% of the air! Meanwhile, Mars has almost no oxygen; it's only one-tenth of one percent of the air, not nearly enough for humans to survive. If you tried to breathe on the surface of Mars without a spacesuit supplying your oxygen – bad idea – you would die in an instant.

Can we build a city in Mars? ›

What If We Built a City on Mars? - YouTube

How much will a ticket to Mars cost? ›

In a conversation with the head of TED, Chris Anderson, published on Monday, Mr Musk reiterated that he aims to colonise Mars by building a self-sustaining city of a million people on the planet. In the past, Mr Musk has estimated that a ticket to Mars on a SpaceX flight would cost between $100,000 and $500,00.

How much would it cost to build a city on Mars? ›

SpaceX Mars City: The Price to Build a New Mars City

Musk has pegged the ultimate price of establishing this city at somewhere between $100 billion and $10 trillion. The calculations are based on the assumption that a city would require one million tons of cargo from Earth to function at a minimum.

Is Elon Musk planning to Mars? ›

Elon Musk predicts a crewed mission to Mars in 2029 In 2016, Musk said that a "meaningful number of people" could reach the red planet in 10 years. Now, he seems to predict a crewed Mars landing in 2029.

How will Elon Musk colonize Mars? ›

How SpaceX And Elon Musk Will Colonize Mars! (2022 Update)

What would happen if we build a city on Mars? ›

Since this world isn't being drilled or fracked, the power grid on Mars can be made sustainable right from the start. We would set up solar arrays for electricity and use natural gases like methane for engines. Our footprint on Mars could start low and stay that way, no matter how many people live there.

What are the benefits of going to Mars? ›

It is an ideal place to search for the residues of microbial life, test new technologies, and lay the groundwork for human exploration down the road. The mission plans to investigate whether microbial life existed on Mars billions of years ago and therefore that life is not unique to Planet Earth.

How much is SpaceX ticket? ›

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday with a private crew. It is the company's first private charter flight to the International Space Station.

How much does SpaceX trip cost? ›

They're paying $55 million apiece for the rocket ride and accommodations, all meals included.

How much do you pay to go to space? ›

For a suborbital trip on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo and Blue Origin's New Shepard, seats typically cost $250,000 to $500,000. Flights beyond that to actual orbit—a much higher altitude—are far more expensive, fetching more than $50 million per seat.

How much money does Elon Musk need to go to Mars? ›

Musk previously ballparked a round trip to Mars between $100,000 and $500,000. What are the estimated costs for tickets to Moon/Mars accounting for reusability? Very dependent on volume, but I'm confident moving to Mars (return ticket is free) will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k.

How much will it cost to terraform Mars? ›

A standard estimate is that, for about $2-$3 trillion, in between 100 and 200 years we would be able to get Mars from its current “red planet” (dead planet) status to ” blue planet” (i.e. a dense enough atmosphere and high enough temperature for Martian water in the poles and soil to melt, creating seas) – achievable ...

How much will it cost to live on Mars? ›

Musk focuses on affordability as a major factor to ensuring the possibility of Mars colonization. He says "You cannot create a self-sustaining civilization if the ticket price is $10 billion per person." He believes that the cost should be about $200,000; equivalent to the median price of a house in the United States.

What does Elon Musk say about Mars? ›

Elon Musk said in an interview that living on Mars will be dangerous, especially at first. Insider previously reported that a human without special equipment would die within minutes on Mars. The billionaire wants to build a self-sustaining city on the planet in the coming decades.

Why do people want to go to Mars? ›

The scientific reasons for going to Mars can be summarised by the search for life, understanding the surface and the planet's evolution, and preparing for future human exploration. Understanding whether life existed elsewhere in the Universe beyond Earth is a fundamental question of humankind.

Is Elon Musk building a hotel on Mars? ›

Having searched through the available evidence, Daily Trust can confirm that the posts and reports claiming that Elon Musk will soon open a hotel in Mars for 5 million dollars per night is false and misleading.

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