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A base on Mars? It could happen by 2028, Elon Musk says

An artist’s image that SpaceX BFR spacecraft on the Red Planet outpost, Mars Base Alpha.”

(SpaceX)

Mankind would have an outpost on Mars only a decade from now, Elon Musk said.

Musk’s company SpaceX is building a huge, reusable rocket-and-spacecraft duo called the BFR to our species to explore and settle the moon, Mars and other worlds in the solar system.

The billionaire entrepreneur is a long-term vision includes the establishment of a million-person city on the Red Planet in the next 50 to 100 years. But we could see the creation of the infrastructure of such a settlement — an outpost Musk calls Mars Base Alpha up and running much earlier than that, ” he said. [The BFR in Pictures: SpaceX’s Huge Spaceship from Mars & Beyond]

“Probably 2028 for a base to build,” Musk said on Twitter Friday (Sept. 21), in answer to a question about when Mars Base Alpha can be a graduate of an artistic view on the reality.

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Probably 2028 for a base to be built

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 21, 2018

Musk’s timelines are famous aggressive, and a lot would have to go right to hit that 2028 goal. After all, the BFR (which stands for “Big Falcon Rocket”) is still in the development phase. The first orbital flights of the 100-passenger spaceship, and the giant booster probably won’t come until 2020 or 2021 at the earliest, Musk said last week during an event at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

That event served mainly to announce that the identity of the BFR’s first paying customer: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who is planning to fly, along with six to eight artists, on a week-long loop around the moon. This mission, which Maezawa calls #dearMoon, could lift as early as 2023 if BFR development and testing goes well, Musk said.

Neither Musk, nor Maezawa revealed how much the last is to pay for the flight (although Maezawa did confirm that the artists will fly for free — he bought all the seats). But Musk said Maezawa has already made a significant down payment, and that his purchase is a big help in the funding of the BFR’s the development of the costs. These costs will probably be around $5 billion when all is said and done, Musk said Friday.

“This has done a lot to restore my faith in humanity — that someone is willing to do this — to take their money and assist with the funding of this new program, that is risky, do not succeed [and] is dangerous,” Musk said. “Ultimately, he is helping to pay for the average citizen to be able to travel to other planets. It is a great thing.”

Originally published on Space.com.

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