Elon Musk announced his plans for Mars one year ago, laying out the idea for a “self-sustaining city” on the planet and changing space travel to the point where it is affordable as a bus trip across the United States. That could be an oversimplification, but we’re talking about an actual plan to colonize Mars and realistic logistics of making it happen. It’s no longer just science fiction.
Since a year has passed, Musk is taking the stage alongside representatives at Lockheed Martin to explain their latest plans to transport people to Mars, building a sustainable colony on the surface, and even a few extras. The presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia detailed the improvements in the technology that we’ve seen to this point, the successes Musk’s SpaceX has had with their Falcon 9 orbital rockets, and some of Lockheed’s separate plans for Mars in a decade:
Lockheed’s idea centers on a six-person space station, which company representatives have said could be orbiting the Red Planet by 2028 or so. The astronauts aboard this Mars Base Camp could perform a variety of valuable scientific and exploration work, from operating rovers in near-real time on the surface to scouting out spots for future crewed landings, project team members have said.