UPDATE 2-Elon Musk outlines Mars colonization plan
(Adds rocket development cost estimate)
By Irene Klotz
GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Sept 27 (Reuters) - SpaceX is developing a massive rocket and capsule to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonizing the planet, company chief and tech billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday.
Musk outlined his plans for the Mars rocket, capable of carrying 100 passengers plus cargo per voyage, even as SpaceX is still investigating why a different rocket carrying a $200 million Israeli satellite blew up on a launch pad in Florida earlier this month.
Though Musk said he envisions humans living in a large colony on Mars, he added that one key issue will be getting the cost down low enough to attract willing volunteers.
"You can't create a self sustaining civilization if the ticket price is $10 billion per person," he said during a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Guadalajara.
"Our goal is to get it roughly equivalent to (the) cost of a medium house in the United States, about $200,000."
Musk said it would be a challenge to fund the Mars effort, with rocket development costs alone estimated at $10 billion over the next few years.
"I'm personally accumulating assets in order to fund this," he said, adding that "ultimately this is going to be a huge public-private partnership." Continuación...