Elon Musk has said that he will need to launch “a thousand ships” to make his dream of a self-sustaining colony on Mars a reality, and says that the price of a ticket would be realistically priced at about $100,000 [£76,000].
The SpaceX entrepreneur predicts that he would need in the region of a million colonists or his “self-sustaining Mars city” and accepts that “only a small percentage of humanity would want to go” to the Red Planet.
But, he says, if it were to cost “for arguments sake” $100,000 then “almost anyone” could work and save up for a sum like that.
Musk said he wants to start a colony on Mars by 2050.
In an interview with TED talk boss Chris Anderson, Musk says: “We want to make it available for anyone who wants to go” to Mars.
Musk warns, though, that even after paying a six-figure sum the first Mars colonists will have to rough it. “It will not be luxurious,” he says.
Building the first city on Mars will be “dangerous, cramped, difficult, hard work”.
He also says that anyone heading to Mars would have to accept that they would probably never see Earth again.
Musk says he accepts that even he probably wouldn’t be still alive by the time the colony is complete.
He predicted waves of SpaceX Starships carrying colonists to Mars throughout the 2030s and beyond, leaving every two years to take advantage of the changing distance between the two planets.
At that rate, it would take at least 20 years to build humanity’s first city on another planet.
Musk says the city wouldn’t belong to NASA, or even SpaceX, but it would be the property of the “people of Mars”.
He says that he wouldn’t make laws for the colony, just a series of recommendations which “the people of Mars may choose to listen to or not”.
He says that by establishing a foothold on another planet we would guarantee humanity’s future, ensuring that even if Earth were destroyed by nuclear war of a massive asteroid impact our civilisation and our culture would be preserved.