Elon Musk has a vision to colonize the Red Planet, and this video shows how he'll get there.
Space; the final frontier. While most of us can only dream of a day when humanity will leave its life on Earth for a planet (hopefully) as suitable as the one we’ve come to know, Elon Musk and SpaceX are expecting to turn that dream into a reality.
A new video shows exactly how Musk's vision of interplanetary travel could become a real possibility in the near future. It starts with a large spacecraft - like any good science-fiction movie - loaded with at least 100 people initially that would be at the core of habituating this new planet. Musk says that in later phases, the ship could hold as many as 200, if not more.
Using advanced propulsion methods from 42 of SpaceX's Raptor engines, which could be fueled by either kerosene, hydrogen, or methane, the rocket would produce 28,730,000 pounds (130,317,000 kilograms) of thrust, propelling it and the main cabin out of the atmosphere and into space at around 5,735 miles per hour (9,229 kilometers per hour).
As the rocket enters the atmosphere, a separation of the main cabin would allow it to propel safely back down to Earth within 20 minutes, landing on the launch mount to reload with propellant. Meanwhile, the spaceship maintains a parking orbit, waiting for the rocket to reload and launch again with the necessary fuel that would allow it to travel the long distance.
The rocket loaded with propellant than would refuel the spaceship in orbit before returning back to Earth. That rocket has the ability to be reused a number of times. That’s when all the fun starts. The main spaceship cabin opens up a pair of solar arrays providing 200 kilowatts of power for its journey to Mars - a journey, one can only assume, would take more than a decade.
The video here uses actual CAD files created in development of the craft, and Elon Musk says what you see is likely what you will get in the final product - the entire ship being created out of an advanced carbon fiber. Of course, that final product is a few years away from being produced. Testing is expected to begin in 2019, with test flights coming as early as 2023.