Entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled his contrarian vision for sending humans to Mars in roughly the next decade, and ultimately setting up colonies there, relying on bold moves by private enterprise, instead of more-gradual steps previously proposed by Washington.
Mr. Musk—who in 14 years transformed his closely held rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., into a global presence—envisions hosts of giant, reusable rockets standing more than 300 feet tall eventually launching fleets of carbon-fiber spacecraft into orbit.
The boosters would return to Earth, blast off again into the heavens with “tanker” spaceships capable of refueling the initial vehicles, and then send those serviced spacecraft on their way to the Red Planet. The rockets would be twice as powerful as the Saturn 5 boosters that sent U.S. astronauts to the Moon. Each fully developed spacecraft likely would carry between 100 and 200 passengers, Mr. Musk said.
His long-anticipated announcement and video simulation came during an international space conference in Mexico, with highlights transmitted across the globe by video feeds and social media.
The grand plan laid out by Mr. Musk lacked specific funding projections, operational specifics or signoff by government officials, emboldening critics who already have called it a science-fiction dream.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE:
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK:
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: