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Elon Musk and the BFR
Technically, I think it's doable. I'm sure he could land a million people on Mars by the 2040s if there were enough interest in it. 

But the big problem is the market. I think he'll struggle to find a million people who want to emigrate to Mars and who can afford to.

The analogy he has used is the colonization of the Americas, but it's not really comparable. The Americas had a very similar climate to Europe, but were just a long way away. Mars, on the other hand, has scarce resources and requires habitation in indoor, probably underground, technologically complex structures. Fixing this problem requires terraforming, which I can't imagine being attempted at any time in the near future. 

So, are a million people really going to want to and be able to afford to travel there? Will anyone with the money want to construct a base on Mars for purposes other than scientific research? I don't think so.

The optimistic scenario, where there is a lot of interest in Mars colonization, could have a similar timescale to that described in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. It's possible that that will happen– but I'm not convinced there will be enough interest in it.

The only way I could imagine large-scale colonization of Mars in the near future occurring is if:
1) There's some sort of strong artifical incentive to emigrate (e.g. a tax haven).
or 2) Space Race 2.0, where for nationalistic reasons the U.S. and China compete with each other in the development of Mars.
or 3) Terraforming proves to be much easier than we expect (e.g. by attaching engines to water-rich asteroids to subtly change their orbits to point towards Mars). I can't really imagine this happening, though.

Messages In This Thread
Elon Musk and the BFR - by AmrlKJaneway - 10-02-2017, 05:10 PM
RE: Elon Musk and the BFR - by stevebowers - 10-02-2017, 06:24 PM
RE: Elon Musk and the BFR - by four - 10-29-2017, 10:47 AM
RE: Elon Musk and the BFR - by Rynn - 10-29-2017, 09:37 PM
RE: Elon Musk and the BFR - by JohnnyYesterday - 10-30-2017, 05:01 AM
RE: Elon Musk and the BFR - by Rynn - 10-30-2017, 05:43 AM

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