Mars on the cheap?

PC Magazine, of all publications, has a summary article of the appearance by Space Adventures’ Chris Faranetta and SpaceX’s Elon Musk at the Future in Review (or FiRE) conference in San Diego. (See earlier post.) There’s not too much new here: both go over their plans, and discuss some far-future propulsion breakthroughs (Faranetta is fond of laser propulsion, while Musk is not; both are disdainful of the space elevator concept.) Musk, though, has his eye firmly set on low-cost passenger travel to Mars, and soon:

“I hope that we’re the primary mechanism for getting people to orbit in the world,” said Musk. “By 2020 I’d like to take someone to another planet.” He believes that within 12 years or so, the cost of taking someone to Mars will be little more than “the price of a median house in California,” or just a few million dollars each.

Of course, by 2020 a few million dollars may not buy you anything in the most overheated regions of California’s real estate market.

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