SpaceX to build Martian Colony, Underground
Often when Elon Musk talks about getting people to Mars, he is very elusive as to what sort of infrastructure and habitats for would be Martian colonist he plans to build beforehand.
Last year at International Aeronautical Congress, Elon showcased BFR and his vision of how SpaceX plans to colonize Mars. In the slide, Elon showed for the first time possible look of Mars SpaceX City or what could possibly happen at some point in not too distant future hopefully, however he was very illusive when asked the specifics.
Trinkets of information have been released so far, for example, mars bots that might dig tunnels, use Martian soil to manufacture solar panel and constructor bots who might build initial Martian Colony, however nothing really specifically as to how SpaceX plans to finance, or develop necessary tools for initial Mars colony. +
Considering the Elon Musk hopes to have first Martian Colonist on the Red Planet in 2024, which seems very optimistic timeframe, SpaceX has done little in respect of developing necessary technology for Martian habitability.
Major issue with Mars, apart from having very thin atmosphere, only 38% of Earth’s Gravity and lack of Oxygen, the planet is constantly blasted by solar radiation, which has kept mars literally sterile of any life for past billion or so years. Mars has very weak magnetic field and almost no magnetosphere to protect future Martian colonist from deadly radiation.
There’s hope however, and it might come from unusual place, Boring Company. Hyperloop and tunnel boring company owned by Elon Musk is developing tunnel digging technology that could come to the rescue. At least this is according to SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell. “I think the Boring Company could be the way that we house people on Mars. We’ll have to dig tunnels for folks,” Shotwell told CNBC.
However, due to the sheer size of Tunnelling equipment, it won’t be practical, initially to send Boring machines to Mars, boring machine can weigh up to 4500 tons and require 62mwh daily to power the tunnelling engine. Longer term, however, it is possible to build tunnelling machines on mars, just like in Total Recall Movie, and dig massive tunnels for future Martian colonist.
In meantime any exposed habitats, including domed habitats seen in Musk’s presentation would require Uv light and X-ray coating, something that can be done as technology exist today, however even this won’t be a simple task, requiring serious technical and technological innovations on part of SpaceX. However, manned mission to Mars in coming decade, is now all but certain, and hopefully in coming years we find more of SpaceX plans for Martian colony. I remain very positive.