SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk have updated his 2016 plan to colonize Mars at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia.
The plan is not only to see the establishment of a Moon base and a city on Mars within the next decade but also much cheaper and larger payloads being sent into Earth orbit and maybe ever hypersonic passenger travel. At the IAC meeting in Adelaide, he has refined his ideas that revolve around his company's tentatively (and cheekily) named BFR (Big Fu*king Rocket) booster and reusable Mars Transport.
In Musk's presentation he reiterated his argument that a completely reusable rocket – that only requires refueling to fly again – is much cheaper than today's practice of disposing of boosters entirely during each flight, comparing it to destroying a multi-million dollar private plane at the end of a flight rather than just chartering a much cheaper airliner.
The Moonbase Alpha which was also revealed at the IAC meeting is a reference to the eponymous setting for the Space:1999 television series and Mars City. Musk plans to set up the core of the latter starting, hopefully, in 2022 with a six-ship fleet consisting of four transports and two manned ships, with two unmanned means of transport landing with supplies and fuel-generating gear to be met by the rest of the fleet when Mars comes back into a favorable orbital position two years later.
Musk says that his vision is more than just a concept on paper, with the components for the first ship already on order and assembly scheduled to begin next year.
Elon Musk's live stream talk can be seen in the video below: