Elon Musk offers a trip to Mars for $500,000
While Richard Branson announced that actor Ashton Kutcher will be the 500th customer to be propelled into orbit aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, another futurist and rocket entrepreneur Elon Musk believes he figured out a way to get passengers to a round-trip on Mars for just half a million dollars per person. It seems like space tourism firms are all set to cash in the rising demand of space tourism. However, some can say that it’s Elon Musk’s ultra-lofty futuristic ambition, but it’s not new to see space travel getting closer to reality as we have earlier seen that Virgin Galactic spaceship has completed its first crewed flight.
The Space X CEO Elon Musk is one of NASA’s new commercial partners, and is building systems to take crew and cargo to the space stations. So far, Musk has successfully developed his own rocket with a capsule for this purpose. Musk says that technology breakthroughs are significantly lowering the cost of launches and space access, and it will make mission to Mars a realistic and affordable financial prospect in the coming 20 years. Musk has this vision for a completely and rapidly useable rocket transport system between Red planet Mars and Earth which will be able to re-fuel on Mars itself. Further, he says that to cut the cost of propellant, the whole system must be reusable, and nothing should be thrown away. Elon Musk will probably unveil his overall strategy in detail later this year, and he’s pretty confident that his vision will work where an average person could afford to take a round trip to Mars, hoping till then average person will do some good savings.
Not long ago, Musk said that he wants to use SpaceX’s launcher Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule or their respective successor technologies with a mission to put astronauts on Mars in the coming twenty years. Following this achievement, Musk said they could begin selling tickets for commercial space flights or round-trips almost immediately. However, the initial ticket price of $500,000 is much higher, but Musk believes that in the coming 10-15 years the system will get mature enough, and accordingly the prices for the commercial flight will get relatively lower. As such, the first ticket worth of $500,000 might buy you a seat on the launch in around year 2040, with say year 2060 as the upper limit, considering some delays and snags in the process.
Undoubtedly, the proclamations are big, and SpaceX has much to prove that can guarantee the happening of these ultra-lofty ambitions.