How Much Will It Cost? 

SpaceX is determined to get started on its most ambitious project ever: building a city on Mars.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter on Friday that he is still sticking with the ambitious launch date for the first ships to Mars by 2022, Inverse reports.

These ships will be the vessel to bring the cargo designed to support the future manned mission to the red planet. That mission is scheduled the next time when Earth and Mars are close again, which is on 2024.

Ambitious Launch Date

In a September 2017 presentation, Musk first outlines his target on sending ships to Mars where he described the BFR vehicle that would support this mission. He clarified that time that his scheduled date on 2022 is not a typographical error, although it is aspirational.

Three years later and two years before the scheduled date, a lot has changed already. BFR became Starship, wherein a mini-Starship flew, and several prototypes exploded. But it seems it did not affect Musk as his determination to reach the red planet in super-fast time has not wavered.

But many ask, why the rush for this mission? Musk responded via his Twitter account on Thursday that he sees it as a race against time. A Twitter user named "PPathole" wrote that half a billion years from now Earth's oceans would evaporate as the sun expands harming humans and leaving a short window to expand out and resettle. To which Musk replied:

"That's when all life on Earth will be boiled off. What matters is how long civilization is capable of making the jump to Mars. This could be a very short period of time measured in decades. It took 4.5 billion years to get to this point & civilization isn't looking super stable."

The two initial missions that SpaceX will be sending will birth the plan to send more rockets on the red planet's surface until there are enough resources to become a self-sustaining civilization. That means that it would take "about a dozen transfer windows," Musk suggested on Thursday.

The two planets - and Mars - align every 26 months, which means that this ambitious mission would most likely take around 25 years to complete. That would also mean that Mars City could be possible before 2050.

Read Also: Elon Musk to US Military, "Innovate Now or Risk Being Second Place"

How Much Will It Cost? 

The plan on pursuing the launch date for the ships is based on the idea that the city of Mars they plan would require one million tons of cargo. Musk explained in August 2019 that this project would cost between half a percent and one percent of the world's gross domestic product.

On the same month, he said that the amount could be between $100 billion and $10 billion, but the cost could vary depending on the price of launching one ton of cargo to Mars, as the low-end figure assumes it could be $100,000 per ton.

Still under construction at the Boca Chica facility in Texas, the Starship is very important for all these plans. The stainless steel machine can transport up to 150 tons or 100 people into space at a time.

SpaceX is using liquid oxygen and methane - both resources available on Mars- which would allow for humans to visit Mars to refuel and to return home or venture out further. SpaceX is planning to produce 1,000 Starships in support of this project.

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