According to space transport company SpaceX founder Elon Musk, humans will be traveling to Mars in the next 10 years (15 at most), and by 2040 we'll be sending people there on roundtrip vacations for $500,000. Yeaaaaaaah, how bout we start with the moon?
The secret to cheap space travel, Musk says, is modeling spacecraft after airplanes.
Musk's long term plan is to take this philosophy of reusability and ride it all the way to Mars. To do this, he'll have to get the lifetime cost of the rocket down to the point where fuel is the primary expense, implying a per pound cost to orbit of just $10 or $20.
If SpaceX can get a reusable deep-space system in place, that could potentially remove a large part of the infrastructure cost from an Earth-Mars passenger service, and all people would have to be able to afford would be the fuel. And at that point, SpaceX will be able to "offer a round trip to Mars that the average person could afford -- let's say the average person after they've made some savings."
First of all, with the value of money over time, $500,000 will barely be enough to buy a large popcorn at the hologram movies in 2040. Secondly, A ROUND-TRIP TO MARS IS 520 DAYS. Imagine riding on an airplane with a bunch of people you hate for that long. I'd go f***ing crazy by the second day and the pilot would have to turn around.
Thanks to Logan, who has every intention of upgrading to first class to avoid having a kid sitting behind him who perpetually kicks his seat.