If you thought the idea of getting to Mars was science fiction, there are quite a few people out there who believe we can make it a reality. In fact, President Barack Obama is one of them, and he’s been behind the idea for quite some time.
Back in 2010, Obama gave a speech, saying that he believed humans could at least orbit Mars and return to Earth by the 2030s. Then, he said we would be able to land on Mars shortly after these accomplishments. On Oct. 11, he reiterated his hopes for heading to Mars in the coming decades.
In an op-ed published in CNN, Obama wrote that he still wants to get humans to Mars and bring them back by the 2030s.
“Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we’re already well on our way,” wrote the President. “Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.”
But some Mars dreamers have taken these ideas one step further. Just last month, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk announced his plans to start a civilization on Mars. He detailed the plot while speaking at the 67th Annual International Astronautical Congress in Mexico.
In short, getting to Mars today would cost you about $10 billion, according to Musk. However, his (future) SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System could help you travel to Mars for about $200,000. He intends to use lighter materials, stronger rockets, and reusable technology to make his system a reality.
But how would a trip to Mars work in even the most basic sense?
According to Musk, you might board a large vessel with about 100 other passengers. The vessel itself could be about as tall as a 40-story building. Once in-flight, you would travel about 19,000 mph to get to the Red Planet. After landing, the intent would be to stay there.
“I really think there are two fundamental paths [for humans]: One path is we stay on Earth forever, and some eventual extinction event wipes us out,” Musk said.
But “Doomsday Prophecies” aside, you might want to prepare to say good-bye to some of your favorites on Earth – people, places, and even food. Unless they’re coming with you, you would be in for a big change on Mars.
Don’t worry, you still have a few decades to think it over.
Hersher, Rebecca. “President Obama Really Wants People To Live On Mars.” NPR. Published Oct. 11, 2016.
Obama, Barack. “Barack Obama: America will take the giant leap to Mars.” CNN. Published Oct. 11, 2016.
Stockton, Nick. “Elon Musk Announces His Plan to Colonize Mars and Save Humanity.” Wired. Published Sept. 27, 2016.