At the space conference in Guadalajara, Mexico Elon Musk introduces the BFR, which is short for "Big F@!ing Rocket." BFR is going to be the mother ship to take 100 passengers on the three-month long journey to Mars. The rocket is expected to have a cinema, workout facility, and come with 40 cabins. One of the many tricky factors SpaceX needs to figure out is fuel. Blasting a big fu@king rocket 18,000 mph into space with 100 people is going to weigh a lot - and is going to cost a ton in fuel. The cost per seat is said to be $200,000 - looks like we'll be getting rid of the house, honey.
The first colonizers on Mars have the responsibility of, well, making it livable. Since we can't breathe on Mars first things first is to build a shelter. They'll also need to find a way to power the shelter so they can breathe, grow their food, and recycle water. "The first Martian colonists will live in giant glass domes and using mining robots to help expand their homes" - says Musk. And what will we call the first colonizers on Mars? "Mars Base Alpha." After shelter has been built the Martians will need to start building a propellant plant that outputs fuel to be able to get home. Mars actually works quite well with generating fuel. A chemical process will be done that pulls in carbon out of Mars' air, combines it with hydrogen using solar energy, and forms combustible methane fuel - we'll leave this task to the engineers while I go pop some popcorn.
Colonizers will also have a few robot friends helping them find water deep below Mars' surface. Another tricky caveat we humans must figure out after landing on Mars' gently - and not on impact - is how to take back off from Mars. Musk says "It'd be pretty absurd to try and build the city on Mars if your spaceship just kept staying on Mars not going back to earth. You'd have this, like, massive graveyard of ships," so you can see why the propellant plant on Mars is a big priority. And plus, once you have the technical experience to build a propellant plant on Mars you can literally planet hop and just bounce from planet to planet stopping to refuel.
But Musk isn't solely looking to have survivors on Mars. He wants a city built there so he suggests having around 10,000 volunteers to avoid inbreeding. The next 40 to 100 years are going to be absolutely crazy. To see an image of the Big Fu*@king Rocket follow me.