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  • Elon Musk is no stranger to Twitter.

  • With over 42 million followers, he ranks 33rd overall on the site, just slightly behind NASA itself.

  • And while yeah, Ellen will often put some pretty silly means to his account, it's also a pretty useful tool to see inside of his mind.

  • Take, for instance, a tweet he replied to roughly a year ago, where someone asked about putting one million people on Mars by the year 2050 and musk, the ever optimists replied with a simple Yes, But how realistic is that?

  • Really?

  • I mean, that's less than 30 years away from now, and a million people is a whole lot of people.

  • Essentially, it would basically be like taking the entirety of Austin, Texas, and transporting everyone who lives there and all of their infrastructure over to Mars.

  • Not to even mention that Mars is, on average, 100 million miles away, and it takes anywhere between six and eight months just to get there, and that is only going one way.

  • So let's dive into how possible this really is.

  • First, let's begin by discussing the technology itself and see if this really even can be done at all.

  • The key component for this insane migration of people toe happen revolves around Space.

  • X's latest rocket ship, known as Starship Starship, is a fully reusable, super heavy lift vehicle that has been under development since 2018.

  • Still in the prototype stage as of today, the rocket, once complete, will consist of two stages.

  • The super heavy booster for the first stage and the starship itself for the second.

  • Once completed on the launch, pad, Starship will stand at 122 m tall and weigh a whopping 150 tons, making it the largest rocket ship ever built.

  • Further, the rocket will be 3.5 times as powerful as the Saturn five rocket that sent NASA astronauts to the moon several decades ago and will be capable of carrying 100 tons of payload into orbit and further on towards Mars, which in terms of our favorite reference on this channel, means that each rocket could carry 67 entire Toyota Corollas toe Mars on every trip, as mentioned previously, and much like Space X is accustomed to.

  • The rocket will be fully reusable as soon as the rocket takes off and it's boosted into space.

  • The first stage will descend back to Earth and land much like the space X Falcon nine does today.

  • And further, the starship will also be capable of landing itself upright to.

  • But while you might think great, all that has to be done is designed this rocket ship and begin blasting willing participants straight to Mars.

  • It's obviously going to be a lot more complicated than that.

  • You see.

  • Once launched from Earth, Starship will need to be refueled before beginning its journey to Mars.

  • This is because although it's a massively powerful rocket, it will still take the majority of its fuel just to break free from Earth's gravity.

  • Thus, for every rocket heading to Mars, a subsequent rocket will also need to be launched to refuel each ship.

  • And to further complicate this process, however, is the fact that Earth and Mars are also at ever changing distances apart.

  • That is because Mars follows what is known as an eccentric orbit, meaning that, unlike the orbit of Earth, it is far from circular.

  • So while at times thier earth is pretty close to Mars, amounting to just 33.9 million miles away, at other times it is much, much further, or something like 200 50 million miles apart.

  • So rather than, say, launch a rocket whenever it is much prefer toe wait for the Earth Mars transfer window, as it's known, which just so happens to occur every 26 months.

  • But the complications don't stop here because, well, yeah, you could make it to Mars.

  • Under the previous circumstances, traveling home wouldn't be possible at all because all of the fuel would have been expended during the journey.

  • Just getting there.

  • And this is why the first settlers who get there will have to set up a fuel production facility straight away.

  • Otherwise, well, I guess Good luck ever coming home or making use of those reusable rockets again.

  • The fuel that will most likely Power Starship on its journey to Mars will be something known as deep cryo method locks or essentially just methane and liquid oxygen.

  • The trouble, however, will be producing these on Mars and finding an efficient way to do so.

  • What is likely the solution, however, will be to use the ice melt found on Mars for water, as well as the large amount of carbon dioxide that could be found in the Martian atmosphere.

  • Together, along with a complex chemical conversion process, the propellant can be produced, but it will take an enormous amount of energy to do so.

  • In fact, to fill the 1200 ton fuel tank of Starship, it is expected that roughly 16 gigawatt hours of locally Martian produce power will be required.

  • Thus, if you were to stay on the surface of Mars for the entire 26 months and wait until the next transfer orbit, you would roughly need to produce something like one megawatt of continuous electric power, which, at least by today's standards, will take about 10.5 American size football fields worth of solar arrays.

  • Needless to say, you better be packing a lot of these for the trip.

  • Now, let's just assume that all of these incredible technical challenges air overcome.

  • I mean, I wouldn't put it past the lawn, but there is still one MAWR massive logistical problem, right now, Space six is hoping to launch the first trips to Mars in the mid to late 20 twenties this decade, which would leave just 25 years left to achieve the goal of one million people on Mars by 2050.

  • Over these 25 years, there will only be 12 transfer windows to send rockets to Mars.

  • Musk is hinted before that.

  • During each transfer window, he would hope to send roughly 1000 rocket ships towards Mars at a time, meaning that essentially 1000 ships would take off, be re fueled and wait in Earth's orbit.

  • And all moved towards Mars together as one colossal fleet, with each ship carrying roughly 100 people.

  • That means that each transfer window would allow for an additional 100,000 people to make the journey and across the 12 transfer windows available between 2025 2050.

  • Well, then, the one million Martian population mark can easily be eclipsed.

  • But one important item not to overlook is the fact that there will likely need to be many exclusively cargo missions as well, in order to send the critically needed supporting infrastructure and supplies.

  • In fact, musk has hinted before that the cargo to person ratio would be something like 10 toe one, meaning that for every one rocket ship destined to carry 100 people to Mars on additional 10 would need to be sent carrying supplies.

  • So in all likely reality, it would probably be something mawr like 100,000 or even Mawr starship trips required just to get to the one million people on Mars.

  • Goal.

  • So with all of that in mind, the reality of meeting the goal becomes quite complex, with just 12 transfer windows available between 2025 2050 that would be an average of 8333 ships sent during each of those windows.

  • And not only that, but you would also have to consider the fact that you would essentially need double the amount of those ships as half of them would be stuck on the Red Planet waiting to come home until the next transfer window opens.

  • Oh, and I also forgot.

  • You also need to consider that even Mawr additional rocket ships will be required to perform all of the refueling required to.

  • So in order to reach the one million people goal.

  • It doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that something like 15 or 20,000 starships would be required over the 25 year time frame.

  • And I mean, that's just not super feasible.

  • Even if you built to starships per week beginning today, that would only get you to a little over 3000 of them by 2050 which is obviously pretty short of the required amount.

  • And even further complicate matters is the actual cost of it all.

  • 20,000 rockets, Even with them being reused, would easily reach into the trillions of dollars once accounting for development, material costs and fuel.

  • Not to be a downer, but it just doesn't seem practical within the limited time frame given by 2050.

  • I mean, take another great human migration as a comparison shortly after discovering the New World, Europeans being migrating from the old world in droves.

  • Yet it still took an incredibly long time just to reach the one million person mark after sailing for roughly 6 to 8 weeks in traversing something like 5500 kilometers of open ocean.

  • Depending on the start and end points, it could be said that the European journey to and colonization of the Americas is very similar, Although not exactly known.

  • When one million European migrants reached and settled in America, it very likely took a little over 200 years not happening until sometime in the early 18th century between 17 2017 30.

  • So, in reality, expecting one million people to make a 33 million mile journey over the next 30 years does seem like a very tall order.

  • Indeed.

  • Regardless, though, Mars will likely be settled by some humans at some point in the very near future.

  • Technology is certainly trending in that direction, and the motivation is there a swell.

  • But to expect a million people?

  • Well, I think we may have to wait until at least the end of the century, or even possibly a bit longer to see that one.

  • However, if you're wanting to learn a lot more about the dangers and challenges that humans will face while colonizing the Red Planet right now, one of the best ways to do so is by experiencing one of the best books ever written on the subject, called the Martian by Andy Weir.

  • While it's obviously a fictional story, about an engineer who becomes stranded on the planet in the near future.

  • The story is expertly researched and grounded in real world logistics and technology issues that document the incredible, harsh reality of surviving on a hostile alien world and a delightfully you could get the entire audiobook that's narrated by Wil Wheaton for free right now on Audible.

  • I'm sure you've probably heard all about audible by now, but I have been inaudible member for years now because they keep expanding their selection in fantastic new ways.

  • There are, of course, thousands of audio books for you to select from, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg.

  • With their newly rolled out audible plus membership, you'll get access to thousands more originals and podcasts so you can go from a sci fi novel like the Martian to a true crime podcast into a biography.

  • And from there to countless other titles, I listen to audible content nearly every day while I'm cooking, driving, studying or even just falling asleep to something that sounds nice and you can, too.

  • But best of all, like I mentioned previously, you could get any audio book you want out of their thousands of titles completely for free and get a 30 day free trial as well by going toe audible dot com slash real life floor or by texting real life floor to 505 100.

  • You can get something really cool for free and you get a support real life floor at the same time.

  • And as always, thank you so much for watching.

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Elon Musk's Insane Idea to Get 1 Million People on Mars by 2050

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/23
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