Elon Musk is a visionary and wants to see a human settlement on the Red Planet Mars in his lifetime. He has already drawn up plans for colonization and knows that one of the methods to attract people to convert the plan into a reality is to lower the cost of a one-way ticket to a figure in the region of $200,000, and he expects his SpaceX to rise to the challenge.

Steps to conquer Mars

New Zealand Herald reports that Elon Musk has outlined his tentative plan in a paper where he has talked of creating the first 'Interplanetary Transport System' which will consist of a reusable rocket-and-spaceship hybrid with a suitable propulsion system.

The cost is a major factor for would-be settlers because at present the cost of a one-way ticket per person would be approximately $10-billion considering traditional methods that are available – and this cost is prohibitive. His intention is to peg the price tag to around $200,000 per person, and he expects sponsors to come forward to foot the bill to induct workers and labor.

This is important because suitable accommodation has to be built to house the settlers, establish communication links so that they can move from one location to another and create other facilities related to setting up a colony.

In order to cut down on costs, he has a number of options like a hybrid of reusable rocket-and-spaceship.

Other options that he wants to explore are to establish spaceship fuel stations on Mars, to set up a travel system for moving between planets and also to explore the Solar system

He has indicated that the booster and spaceship for travel to Mars would be propelled by an engine that is developed by his company SpaceX. It will be able to launch 300 metric tons to low Earth orbit.

However, for successful journeys to Mars and back, it is necessary to produce propellant on the planet itself.

Reasons for choosing Mars

Elon Musk is confident that colonization of Mars is possible with SpaceX. He has zeroed in on this planet because it is the only one in the solar system which is similar to Earth. He has eliminated planets like Venus and Mercury and feels that it is possible to develop human settlements on Mars.

It will be the answer to a multi-planetary civilization.

NASA has already positioned its Curiosity rover on Mars and is exploring its terrains in search of life. Simultaneously, special teams are getting trained to survive on the planet under the Mars One project which is also a dream child of Elon Musk. These are volunteers who have been selected from across the world, and they know that it will be a one-way ticket to the Red Planet. They are determined to succeed and be the first settlers on Mars.

The concept of Elon Musk is, no doubt, a revolutionary one but he has apparently not addressed the major issue of finance. The project is a massive one, and he has made a start but can he sustain it on his own?