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Colonizing Mars: Settlements May Happen Sooner Then We Think

February 19, 2013

Rayshell Clapper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Mars colonization has been a topic of discussion for decades. Especially since man landed on the moon in 1969, people from a variety of professional backgrounds – including astronauts, sci-fi writers, entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors, video gamers, academics and journalists – have pondered the possibility of colonizing Mars. But just how far in the future is the first Mars colony?

One particularly promising example of a possible Mars colonization endeavor comes from SpaceX, a private spaceflight company founded by the South African billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. In November of 2012, redOrbit reported about Musk’s designs for a Mars colony in the next 20 years.

“In his plans, Musk said [the initial Mars colonization effort] would start with a pioneering group of less than 10 people who would be transported through a reusable rocket powered by liquid oxygen and methane.” This first group would literally build a sustainable colony from the ground up, including housing, crops, buildings and everything needed to sustain life on Mars. Eventually, Musk said he would like to have 80,000 colonists by the 20-year mark. Of course, at an estimated price of about $500,000, a one-way ticket to the Red Planet is still pretty steep.

Another group interested in colonizing Mars is a nonprofit organization from the Netherlands that is planning a settlement by 2023. Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp is leading a group of his countrymen putting together its plans for the Mars One settlement.

Read more: Colonizing Mars: Just How Far Away Are We? – Space News – redOrbit.

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