The South African genius behind SpaceX, Tesla and Paypal, aims to put astronauts on the surface of Mars by the year 2024. In a recent spate of promising updates, Mr Musk showed off a static fire test of the Starship Raptor engine which will propel his rocket to the Red Planet. Now, the SpaceX boss teased the future cost of taking his Super Heavy Rocket and Starship for an interplanetary road trip. Replying to questions asked on Twitter, Mr Musk said any hopeful Martian should be able to sell their home and permanently move to Mars if they wish.
In a direct reply to the SPEXcast science podcast Twitter account, Elon Musk teased future Mars mission launches will cost between £77,830 and £390,100 ($100,000 and $500,000).
Included in the ticket price, of course, is a free ride back to Earth should the astronauts decided not to stay behind.
In the Twitter exchange, SPEXcast asked: “What are the estimated costs for tickets to Moon/Mars accounting for reusability?”
Mr Musk answered: “Very dependant on volume, but I’m confident moving to Mars (return ticket is free) will one day cost less than $500k and maybe even below $100k.
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“Low enough that most people in advance economies could sell their home and move to Mars if they want.”
Mr Musk then said the success of the Mars-bound Starship or Super Heavy Rocket relies on public support.
He replied to another question saying: “The goodwill of the public is critical to Starship’s success.”
And he also said: “Just planning on keeping the public informed about progress and setbacks.
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“Will be some Rapid Unscheduled Disassemblies (RUDs) along the way, but excitement guaranteed.”
The rocket builder’s ambitious goal is to send an unmanned cargo mission to Mars by 2022, followed by a crew of astronauts as early as 2024.
Both Mars-bound flights will aim to establish a permanent base of residence on the planet for future colonists.
Towards this goal, SpaceX will send private investors and space tourists on round trips beyond the orbit of the Moon and back to Earth, to secure funding and support.
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The first lucky lunar passenger to make the historic flight is Japanese art curator Yusaku Maezawa, who will fly to the Moon and back in 2023.
Elon Musk said: “ You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilisation is all about.
“It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past.
“And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”