by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s a long time since we first set foot on the moon – almost 50 years, in fact – and while it may seem that there has been a lack of anything remarkable taking place in space exploration in the media in recent years, Elon Musk would certainly like to have a word with you. The Tesla CEO has been running SpaceX, his own research program and facility, for considerable years now – and they’ve made more than a few big leaps and bounds in their attempts to advance our ways to the outer reaches. This week, it seems that Musk is more confident than ever that we’ll be on our way to our next-door neighbor sooner than we may think – with Martian colonization a distinct possibility.
Musk has advised that he hopes SpaceX will not only be able to craft and launch a base on the Moon, but also a fleet of cargo ships on the red planet within the next five years. He’s hoping for two such ships at the very least – and they’ll be helped along their way by the superfast SpaceX rocket technology, which Musk too hopes will be able to transport people around the globe at a blistering rate. The rockets developed by his firm will hope to allow people to commute around the world within just 30 minutes – and it’s this technology which could well see us make our first mark on Mars in the years to come.
Musk is a space fanatic who has thrown his wealth into exploration options for expanding the human experience beyond Earthly confines – and he hopes that the first step in creating a colony on Mars will involve creating artificial bases to allow safe breathing and living under the planet’s atmospheric pressure. In time, Musk and co have even suggested that creating nuclear blasts on the planet’s surface could allow human life to thrive there without the need for artificial bases or equipment. It’s certainly an ambitious vision – and Musk largely has the money and the personnel – as well as the technology – to get us as close as possible.
Musk believes his fleet of spacecraft could well get us to Mars – and living there – even quicker than the five-year goal. It could also mean that his current models of spacecraft become obsolete – and while it will remain to be seen, you can hardly fault the man’s passion!