SpaceX's CEO, Elon Musk has announced that tickets for a journey to the Red Planet could eventually cost as little as $100,000. If that’s true, then in the future, you could sell your house for a flight to Mars with a few bucks left over to splurge on a fancy spacesuit. Fortunately, the return trip is included, according to Musk.
SpaceX is aggressively going after the goal of sending humans to Mars. They have engineered the Starship rocket as the basis of these future missions to the Red Planet. SpaceX plans to ship out parts to Mars and then assemble them in some form of habitat by robots so they can be ready by the time the first human settlers arrive.
In 2018, Musk shared an artist’s sketch of what the SpaceX Mars Base Alpha would look like on Twitter (pictured above). Someone asked a question about when it might be built, and Musk tweeted a reply saying they were aiming to have the base established by 2028.
In the beginning, human civilization on Mars would be a fundamental existence. Musk revealed to a crowd at SXSW that pioneers would only have a base to create fuel, a power station, and blast domes for growing crops. Just the basics needed for survival.
The era of space tourism is set to begin this year. The first spaceplane to transport humans to space will be Virgin Galactic’ spacecraft. On December of the last year, the Virgin Galactic spacecraft SpaceShipTwo reached the border of space for the first time. Today Virgin is charging $250,000 for a spot on one of its flights.
For now, Virgin Galactic has only one competitor - Blue Origin space company, which plans to sell suborbital flights on its Shepard spacecraft. Blue Origin has had several successful flights, although it is unclear when they intend to start sending customers to space. Target test flights with the crew are planned for the 2019.