“If you want to play life safe, don’t live on the moon”- Andy Weir, Artemis
There is a big difference between the fiction stories written by Andy Weir–the author of Artemis–and what Elon Musk plans to do. However, now it seems that Musk will eventually give humans a chance to live in the fantasy world of Weir.
In the last few years, Elon Musk has proved that there is no limit to man’s expectations. Musk founded SpaceX 16 years ago and the collective efforts taken during all these years came to fruition when he launched passenger spacecraft Crew Dragon. Musk has already made history and cut down the cost of space travel with the innovation of reusable rocket technology and now he has addressed his next goal: manned Moon base and fun-experience of exploring Mars.
This Saturday, Musk’s new baby–Crew Dragon–successfully docked autonomously with the International Space Station (ISS) after about 26 hours from its launch, marking the new era of space flight. Anne McClain, the current resident of ISS even welcomed Crew Dragon. According to Musk, if all goes according to the plan, two astronauts will be able to fly on board the spacecraft as soon as July. Musk’s Crew Dragon can occupy a maximum of seven people and it is not meant for ambitious exploration work.
After achieving his aim, Musk stated that he’s a bit emotionally exhausted and it was super-stressful, but it has worked so far. However, now docking of Crew Dragon is a done deal, he has moved on to his next mission: manned Moon base.
The billionaire wants to colonize the unknown worlds such as Moon and Mars as it was the major reason behind setting up SpaceX 16 years ago. Musk stated, “We should have a permanent base on the Moon and we can surely send people on Mars.” He added that there is something beyond the space station and we will explore every opportunity.
He has built a prototype of a vehicle that can fulfill that dream of space exploration called Starship. According to Musk, Starship will perform a moon mission in 2023 and maybe send the first people toward Mars after the expedition of Moon. However, he plans to focus on Crew Dragon for now.
When asked about the expedition of Mars, he said he is confident that moving to Mars will cost less than $500,000 one day and maybe cost below $100,000. However, the cost will vary according to the volume of travelers, but the bottom line will be low enough that “most people in advanced economies could see their homes on Earth to move to Mars if they feel like it”.