The Grapevine

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Envisions ‘Self-Sustaining’ Mars City In Next 30 Years

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to make the unthinkable possible. The business magnate apparently wants to build a city on Mars and he says he envisions it to be a self-sustaining colony of humans on the Red Planet. 

Early this week, Musk, who is known for his tendency to overshare his plans and thoughts on Twitter, took to the social networking service to reveal his big plans for his aerospace company, the fourth planet in our solar system and mankind, in general. 

“It’s possible to make a self-sustaining city on Mars by 2050, if we start in 5 years & take 10 orbital synchronizations,” Musk tweeted

The renowned engineer is no stranger to taking on big challenges. Right now his SpaceX company is working on the Starship with the goal of bringing humans to Mars. If successful, this could mean that Musk will be on his way to realizing his extraterrestrial colony. 

The Starship has a vital role in Musk’s vision for the future. The interstellar spacecraft is intended to carry up to 100 people in one space travel. The large capacity will be advantageous since more people will be able to help in establishing the “self-sustaining city on Mars” that Musk is dreaming about. 

The orbital synchronization Musk mentioned in his tweet basically refers to the point where our planet and Mars are in closest alignment. This happens every two years and two months, according to Universe Today. The most imminent synchronization for now is set to take place next year. 

However, Musk will skip the 2020 synchronization. He is preparing two unmanned Starship trips to Mars in 2022, instead. Given that both will be unmanned, SpaceX will simply load them up with 100 tons of cargo that the first humans on Mars will be able to use once they get there. 

So when is Musk planning to send humans to Mars? That’s actually going to happen in the next synchronization after the unmanned missions. Musk plans to send humans to the Red Planet using the Starship in 2024. 

If things will go well for Musk, we can expect the Mars colony to start materializing between seven and 10 years from now. Of course building a city on the Red Planet won’t happen overnight. First, Musk is planning to build a Martian base that will focus on life support and fuel production and can also accommodate experiments, as per Inverse

Musk then plans to slowly branch out to building other amenities such as a recycling facility. Once Musk’s self-sustaining city is built, he will be moving on to constructing more cities. This way more people could come to Mars and help study and understand if there was really life on the Red Planet in the past.