Elon Musk adds intercity dimension to interplanetary rocket vision

World Today

Elon Musk adds intercity dimension to interplanetary rocket vision

New York to Shanghai by rocket in less than half the time it takes the average commuter just to drive to work in Beijing.

It’s the latest plan by Elon Musk unveiled to scientists in Australia.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough has more.

And if you think that’s pie in the sky, the electronic car and space rocket entrepreneur is aiming much, much higher, with plans to send paying passengers to the moon next year—and then to Mars in 2024.

But the first step to colonizing the Red Planet will be a cargo trip in 2022.

“I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and be ready for a launch in about five years,” Musk said. “Five years seems like a long time to me.”

Musk may be in a hurry because the race is on. U.S. Defense giant Lockheed Martin and even Amazon are even developing Mars transport projects.

“The space market is something like 400 billion Australian dollars a year,” Meir Moalem, chief executive of Sky and Space Global said.

“So it’s quite a big market, and we’re seeing in the last few years kind of a transfer between the big, traditional government programs into the private sector, and trying to provide more tailor-made services, more kind of space-based application services.”

Even so, the development costs involved in sending people to Mars are so astronomical, Musk says he’d need a million passengers to bring tickets down to even around $200,000 each—a price that’s simply out of this world for most of us.