SpaceX's mission to Mars a bit clearer with Interplanetary rocket unveilingBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 28 September 2016 | Categories: news
Elon Musk took some time off from ambitious self-driving electric cars to showcase something even more so - SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System. Still a concept at this stage, the system is designed with the aim of one day colonising Mars, a plan that Musk has been detailing to a lesser degree until now.
SpaceX's CEO took the stage at the International Aeronautical Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico yesterday to talk about the system, which also had an accompanying video showing off the Mars-bound rockets in action.
The system will use a combination of a rocket and spaceship, and reportedly be far taller than the current Falcon 9 rockets that SpaceX has been employing up until now. According to a tweet from Musk, the pair will stand an estimated 122 metres tall, which when compared to the length of a rugby field (about 120 m including try zones) certainly puts its scale into perspective. The rocket booster will be 12 metres in diametre and requires an estimated 28 million-plus pounds of thrust in order to achieve liftoff.
The spaceship, which will complete the journey, will measure 17 metres in diametre, with Musk noting that the spaceship could house as many as 100 passengers, and take up to 80 days to complete the journey from Earth to Mars.
For now, the Interplanetary Transport System is only a concept, with Musk unable to disclose how much a project like this would cost or indeed the time needed to build. It does, however, form part of a far bigger picture in both Musk's and SpaceX's vision, with the end goal to make humans a "multiplanetary species".
You can watch the 'shortened' one hour long presentation by Musk below.
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