SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he sees test flights of his Mars spacecraft next year, but warned early trips could be deadly.
When Houstonians were asked if they would go they’re responses varied:
“Sure, yeah. Matt Damon should go with me,” said one woman.
“No, I wouldn’t. I’m just not adventurous like that,” said another woman.
“No, I would not go. Too many unknowns and my family and everyone I love is here,” said another female.
“All of my loved ones are here. I won’t leave my wife, my children. You won’t come back, so that’s not a destination that I would want to go to,” said one man.
“I would go to get away from everybody,” said another man.
Should the hundreds of millions be raised to get a SpaceX expedition to Mars; Rice University Space Institute’s Director Dr. David Alexander said there's challenges getting there, then living there...and eventually getting back to Earth.
“There’s a lot of radiation, that’s one of the biggest concerns about going to Mars, is once you leave the protection of Earth’s atmosphere, you have radiation from the sun and galactic cosmic rays, and of course, there’s no resources found there,” said Alexander. “Even if you can build a good rocket and a good capsule to get people there, Mars is a hostile environment. So, there’s a lot of challenges about getting people onto the surface and then there’s even more challenges once they’re there.”
The BFR rocket system would be the carrier to go to Mars. Musk said it’d be updated from the current Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon, with a single system containing one booster and one ship.
The initial mission, by 2022, "will be to confirm water resources and identify hazards along with putting in place initial power, mining, and life support infrastructure."
The second mission, scheduled for 2024, would have "primary objectives of building a propellant depot and preparing for future crew flights," designed to eventually build a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.