Elon Musk's SpaceX recently announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will take a private passenger flight around the moon in 2023. Thanks to this trip, the company will be able to continue development on the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket), which will help with satellites, space station missions, and interplanetary transport. “Interplanetary” means that things are about to get interesting—all plans are leading up to the development of a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.
The idea is for BFR to make its first trip to Mars in 2022 to survey the conditions and potential hazards. The cargo mission will also set up initial power, mining, and life support infrastructure. Two years later, another mission with both cargo and crew will arrive on Mars to build a propellant depot and prep for future flight crews. Over time, the base will grow into a self-sustaining city on the Red Planet.
It's all part of SpaceX's plan to “make life multiplanetary.” “The base starts with one ship, then multiple ships, then we start building out the city and making the city bigger, and even bigger. Over time terraforming Mars and making it really a nice place to be,” stated Musk at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress. “It is quite a beautiful picture. You know that on Mars, dawn and dusk are blue. The sky is blue at dawn and dusk and red during the day. It’s the opposite of Earth.”
With Maezawa—and his funding—on board, it appears that SpaceX's goals are more obtainable than ever. As BFR finishes development, the world will be waiting to see how it will help place life on Mars.
SpaceX is hoping to start sending missions to Mars in 2022 using the BFR, with a goal to create a self-sustaining civilization.