Mission to Mars

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Maybe soon our solar system will become completely colonized in a few centuries like the Americas were in the 1500s.

Maybe soon our solar system will become completely colonized in a few centuries like the Americas were in the 1500s.

Maybe soon our solar system will become completely colonized in a few centuries like the Americas were in the 1500s.

Annaklara Doel, Staff Writer

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The dream of the man on the moon has now officially been changed. A man on Mars is the new goal, and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has predicted the first wave of colonists to jet off to Mars as early as 2024. But this interstellar feat will prove quite difficult to accomplish, as the cost and the time it takes to complete it will stretch SpaceX to no end.

The main problems of getting to Mars involve the materials needed to get to the planet in the first place. The rocket ship will be fourteen stories high and needs a fuel tank that’s 40 feet wide to be able to make the distance to Mars. The problem is that this can’t be done in one trip, so a reusable rocket is needed to carry up the liquid-oxygen tank. The good news is that the tank is made of carbon fiber so it is extremely light, yet able to withstand the extreme temperatures of space. Another major hiccup is the cost, which NASA estimates to be around $100 billion, which is extremely hard to find the funding for, since it’s such a high risk to invest into.

SpaceX has run into other problems when testing reusable rockets, as they are very hard to land on a landing pad without crashing. But they are vital, as it costs ten times less to get all of the fuel into space, which is why SpaceX and Elon Musk are consistently testing and retesting their newest inventions.

Another major problem in getting to Mars is that both Earth and Mars align for optimal travel every 26 months, as to not waste fuel or cause any potential hiccups in the trip. So, one ship of 100 passengers would take the 80 day flight every two years, which makes settlement much slower to develop, not to mention the complications on the return trip. The settlements would be powered by solar panels and the red dust on Mars would be converted into fuel to bring the rocket back and get more colonists.

Although all of this will take many years of hard work, Elon Musk, among many other scientists at SpaceX are confident that this plan will follow through, and that soon we can look beyond our solar systems to find new worlds to colonize, and maybe then our Star Trek dreams will come true.

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