The Commentary entitled "Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species presents the vision of Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, for future manned trips to other planets and specifically what will be needed to create a self-sustaining city on Mars. The article, drawn from Mr. Musk's presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress, is published in New Space, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the New Space website until July 5, 2017.
In the paper, Mr. Musk explores the planetary options for expanding to a space-bearing civilization and describes the advantages Mars offers. He provides a comprehensive review of a system architecture required for a rocket and spaceship capable of transporting people and supplies to Mars, comparing possible vehicle designs and performance features. A major challenge facing engineers and scientists at present and discussed in the article is the need to improve the cost per ton of transporting materials to Mars by 5 million percent.
"In my view, publishing this paper provides not only an opportunity for the spacefaring community to read the SpaceX vision in print with all the charts in context, but also serves as a valuable archival reference for future studies and planning. My goal is to make New Space the forum for publication of novel exploration concepts-particularly those that suggest an entrepreneurial path for humans traveling to deep space," says Editor-in-Chief Scott Hubbard, Stanford University.
Explore further: SpaceX's Elon Musk elaborates on plan to colonize Mars
Elon Musk, Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species, New Space (2017). DOI: 10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu