(this article is so big that it has to be posted in 3 stages)...
...I haven't posted in here for quite a while because I'm guessing that not many people are interested in the thread to be honest but being that I need somewhere to vent my Space nerdiness I'm going to post this anyway... it's a sort of Timeline of Elon Musk's Mars ambitions... I think that it's a tad bit over ambitious in regards the Colonisation part but his initial Timeline of making a manned landing seems to me to be quite feasible... either way... it looks like Elon's determination of achieving his ambitions is going to be a very interesting upcoming 7 years regardless...
...I've always hoped that someone would set foot on Mars in my lifetime since I was a little kid so if he does achieve it I will be a happy little soul that I'd managed to live long enough to witness it... so here's hoping from me at least... on this website below... cheers.
This speculative SpaceX timeline reveals roughly when, where, and how Elon Musk plans to colonize Mars
SpaceX; NASA; Mark Brake/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business InsiderElon Musk and SpaceX hope to colonize Mars with Big Falcon Rocket spaceships.
Elon Musk is hell-bent on colonizing Mars
That’s the spirit with which he founded SpaceX
, his rocket company, in 2002. Musk was frustrated that NASA wasn’t doing more to get people to the red planet – and concerned that a backup plan for humanity wasn’t being developed (for when Earth becomes an uninhabitable wasteland
Since then, SpaceX has developed several impressive aerospace systems: Falcon 1, its first orbital rocket; Grasshopper, a small self-landing test rocket; Falcon 9
, a reusable orbital-class launcher; Dragon
, a spaceship for cargo and soon NASA astronauts; and Falcon Heavy
, a super-heavy-lift launcher.
But Mars is a cold, unforgiving, and almost airless rock located an average of 140 million miles from Earth. Astounding ingenuity is required to land even a small spacecraft there today, let alone a giant spaceship full of people and cargo
in the future.
That’s why SpaceX is taking the lessons the company has learned over the past 16 years – and its increasing amount of money
and number of staff
members – and using them to build a space vehicle called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR
The fully reusable, 387-foot-tall system consists of two giant stages: a roughly 18-story-tall Big Falcon Spaceship
and a similarly huge Big Falcon Booster. The booster will launch the spaceship (on top) toward space, then land itself for reuse.
Timelines are unreliable when it comes to human spaceflight, but Musk’s ambitious estimates of when SpaceX might reach Mars reveal his zeal to accomplish that goal.
The following (somewhat speculative) timeline of SpaceX’s plan is based on our reporting as well as dates compiled by the Reddit community r/SpaceX
Where SpaceX is today with its Mars plans
A scale diagram of SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket showing its booster and spaceship.
Musk has said the BFR’s spaceship
is the “hardest part” of the system to get right, so that’s where SpaceX is focusing most of its energy.
To that end, the company is building a BFR factory in the Port of Los Angeles
, about 15 miles south of SpaceX’s headquarters. While that facility is constructed, engineers are working under a nearby 20,000-square-foot tent to build a prototype spaceship
out of advanced carbon-fibre materials.
SpaceX is also meeting with NASA and other parties to workshop its Mars mission plans
, though it still has a lot of work to do to figure out how to keep passengers safe from radiation
, and themselves
2018: Build a launch-support facility in Boca Chica, a town near Brownsville, Texas.
SpaceX needs a place to test-launch its spaceship prototype, and the southern tip of Texas gives the company a few benefits.
For one, SpaceX can (presumably cheaply) transport enormous rocket parts over water by barge from Los Angeles, through the Panama Canal, to Boca Chica. Otherwise, the parts would have to be flown or driven in a truck over land.
Additionally, few people live in the area, which is a good thing for a company that’s filling a gigantic, experimental spaceship full of explosive liquids and lighting them on fire. The rockets can also be launched over the Gulf of Mexico, posing even less of a risk to people or objects on the ground.
The launchpad may even not be on land.
“It may actually be that we launch from a floating platform,”Musk said in September
Finally, Boca Chica is one of the most southern municipalities in the US. Getting as close to the equator as possible helps rockets save fuel, since Earth’s rotation adds significant speed to a launch.
2019: Debut the Big Falcon Spaceship.
Gwynne Shotwell, the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, has said the company hopes to test-launch a prototype ship in short “hops” (not reaching orbit) from southern Texas in late 2019.
The goal would be to gather valuable data on the prototype to refine the next version. As with many early SpaceX test launches, the likelihood is high that there could be a “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” as Musk likes to call exploding rockets