All hopes are on Mars to be the next big adventure for mankind, with groups like NASA working hard to make a manned mission to the Red Planet a reality and companies like SpaceX betting big on Earth-to-Mars travel.
SpaceX boss Elon Musk has long promised that living on Mars will be a reality within our lifetimes, even suggesting that he himself might move there at some point in the not-too-distant future. But once all the kinks are ironed out, how much is it going to cost to leave Earth behind and become a full-fledged Martian? Musk thinks he has the answer.
Replying to a question on Twitter (which is kind of his thing these days), Musk says that a ticket to Mars should hopefully cost less than $500,000. He even suggests that one could hitch a ride on a Mars-bound spacecraft for less than $100,00 before long.
“[The price is] very dependent on volume, but I’m confident moving to Mars (return ticket is free) will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k,” Musk explains. “Low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want.”
That’s a bold claim, especially when you consider that mankind is probably at least a decade or more away from even setting foot on Mars for the first time. Once that momentous day comes it’ll be up to companies like SpaceX and scientists like those at NASA to decide how and when Martian colonies might be a reality.
Then, of course, there’s the question of what kind of quality of life newfound Martians can expect after they move. Musk himself has admitted that it’s likely that the first adventurers to make the trip to Mars have a good chance of dying in the process. Furthermore, a life on Mars will be a huge challenge for anyone who goes, with virtually zero downtime or room for leisure.
If we do reach a point within the next few decades where traveling to Mars is as simple as dropping a hundred grand on a ticket, there will surely be plenty of brave folks ready to take the plunge. But first, we need to actually get there.