SpaceX’s top engineer just revealed more details about Elon Musk’s future Mars city.
For years, Elon Musk and SpaceX have been vocal about their ambitious plans to colonize the Red Planet and build the first Mars city. In fact, Musk has already laid out his colonization plans at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide last October.
According to Musk, SpaceX will be sending two cargo ships to Mars in 2022. If the first mission succeeds, they will then send another two cargo ships and two crewed ships in 2024. The two-year gap between the planned missions is due to the Earth-Mars Synchronization or the time when our planet and Mars are close to each other.
Once the cargo ships and crewed ships land on the Red Planet, they will start building the propellant depot that will supply the fuel to the vessels followed by other facilities to create the first Mars city.
Also, instead of using Falcon 9 rocket ships or the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is currently building the ultimate spacecraft for its Mars mission known as the BFR. The BFR will reportedly be equipped with 31 raptor engines that could produce a thrust of 54,000 tons. Its payload bay will be eight stories tall, and it will have the capacity to carry around 100 human passengers.
Now, all that are just tiny bits of information shared by Musk himself back then. Since then, no further details were shared by the private space company.
Fortunately, SpaceX’s Principal Mars Development engineer Paul Wooster has finally revealed new information about the project last Friday at the 21st Annual Mars Society Convention in Pasadena, California.
According to Wooster, the Mars colonization program is “something where a lot of people beyond SpaceX can really contribute.”
“Early on, they’re very valuable on the surface of Mars. You’d actually be having most of the ships stay, and you’d be operating using the various systems on them to support the activities there. Very much early on they’d be sitting there indefinitely,” Wooster told the audience.
Wooster further said that the first BFR spacecraft would remain on Mars until it proves itself valuable as a means of transportation as well as a ground support system. He also added that the first people to set foot on Mars would be living out of the BFR while the development of habitation, landing pads, and other infrastructures are on-going.
The SpaceX engineer also reiterated that what Musk wants is not a small base on Mars. Instead, he emphasized that Musk plans to develop a full-fledged town, followed by multiple major cities moving forward.
Wooster went on to say that at the moment, the success of the mission will lie heavily in the capacity of the BFR spacecraft. Meaning, the realization of Musk’s dreams rest on his ultimate rocket that has yet to fly.