Following the successful drone ship landing of the Falcon 9 rocket earlier this year, Elon Musk detailed his company’s plan to launch a manned mission to Mars in his speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico last Tuesday.

Musk opened up his speech with his vision to “make Mars seem possible” and went on to say that it was a place where anybody could go if they wanted to – provided they have the money: the cost of sending someone to Mars is currently estimated to be around “10 billion dollars per person”. However, Musk said that there could be significant decrease in the price as time goes on because of the reusability of the spacecraft, in-orbit refueling and even propellant production on Mars itself, reducing the cost to less than $200,000 per person.

The “Interplanetary Transport System” includes a large, reusable booster powered by 42 Raptor engines that will fly a spaceship into Earth orbit, to be later refueled using the same booster. Elon Musk said that the spaceship alone is capable of liftoff on small celestial bodies – such as Mars.

Lucas Van Mol