Elon Musk and SpaceX Announce Details of Plan to Colonize Mars With an Interplanetary System

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the details of his company’s plan to colonize Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara.

According to a simulated video released shortly before the event, SpaceX would first launch its interplanetary spacecraft into a parking orbit around Earth using a booster powered by the new Raptor engine. Then the booster used to launch that craft would return to the launch pad as SpaceX has demonstrated with successful return landings of the Falcon 9. Once the booster has landed, it would be loaded with a tanker craft before returning to orbit to refuel the interplanetary spacecraft for its trip to Mars.

That vehicle would have a coasting speed of about 62,000 miles per hour, and trips to Mars would take an estimated 80 days. Although much of the focus was on Mars, SpaceX says their Interplanetary Transport System is not just limited to the Red Planet.

While taking questions after his presentation, Musk said the mission would be an investment of approximately $10 billion, and the price tag for a trip to Mars would cost about as much as buying a house. As far how SpaceX will fund the mission, they tweeted a somewhat rough outline of their plan to raise money.