• Elon Musk published a scientific paper outlining detailed plans to build humanity’s first Martian colony
  • SpaceX boss says slashing the cost of a one-way ticket to Mars is crucial to starting a sustainable population
  • Key to this is building a ‘Interplanetary Transport System’ – a reusable rocket that can travel back and fourth
  • Musk plans to build the most powerful rocket ever capable of launching 300 metric tonnes to low Earth orbit

Elon Musk has revealed more details of his ambitious plans to establish humanity’s first colony on Mars.

In a scientific paper, the SpaceX billionaire says the only way of attracting enough people to build a settlement on the red planet would be to cut the cost of a one-way ticket.

The entrepreneur aims to get the price down of the ticket down to the cost of an average house in the US – or around $200,000 (£157,000).

To achieve this within our lifetime, he will create the first ‘Interplanetary Transport System’ – a reusable rocket-and-spaceship hybrid powered by 42 SpaceX Raptor engines.

An artistic impression of a SpaceX rocket heading towards Mars. Elon Musk has revealed his ambitious plans to establish humanity's first Mars colony by building a rocket that will slash the price of space travel

An artistic impression of a SpaceX rocket heading towards Mars. Elon Musk has revealed his ambitious plans to establish humanity’s first Mars colony by building a rocket that will slash the price of space travel

ELON MUSK’S PLAN FOR MARS

1. CUT THE PRICE OF SPACE TRAVEL

2. BUILD A REUSABLE ‘INTERPLANETARY TRAVEL SYSTEM’

3. ESTABLISH SPACESHIP FUEL STATIONS ON MARS

4. EXPLORE THE SOLAR SYSTEM

‘I want to make Mars seem possible – make it seem as though it is something that we can do in our lifetime,’ Musk writes in a freely available paper published in New Space.

‘There really is a way that anyone could go if they wanted to.’

Musk writes that cutting the price of a one-ticket to Mars will be key to starting a viable population on Mars.

‘Right now, you cannot go to Mars for infinite money,’ he says.

‘Using traditional methods, taking an Apollo-style approach, an optimistic cost would be about $10 billion (around £8bn) per person.

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