Elon Musk, the multi-millionaire founder of PayPal has big plans: he wants to found a city on Mars. Musk shared his vision at a meeting of the Royal Aeronautical Society earlier in the month.
He said he envisaged a settlement of 80k people and it would be a vegetarian society, dedicated to sustainable technology. He said he had waited 10 years to reveal his ideas and accepted that huge challenges need to be faced before such a settlement was possible.
Risks include deep-space radiation, physical problems such as bone decay and the possibility of toxic dusk. The size of the settlement too will be critical too say Musk: “Too few, and the gene and culture pool dries up. Too many and you risk civil war.”
Musk is no stranger to space travel. His Falcon 9 rocket delivers Nasa cargo to the International Space Station in the place of the Space Shuttle which was decommissioned in recent years.