The northern regions of Mars would be the most suitable site for the first human settlement on this planet. This opinion was expressed on Friday by the American entrepreneur Elon Musk at a video conference of the Mars Society Convention 2020.
“Probably, the most acceptable would be high latitudes, – he noted. – People would like to settle closer to areas where there is ice, which can be used, including for oxygen and energy. In addition, in these areas it would be easier land vehicles that would use the Martian atmosphere for braking. ”
When asked what priority task would face the members of a manned expedition to Mars, Elon Musk called the creation of facilities for the manufacture of fuel for rockets, as well as the creation of a communication system. “It will be necessary to establish the extraction of ice, to obtain a breathable atmosphere and fuel from it,” he stressed and pointed out that high-power lasers in low-Earth orbit could be used to provide communication between the Earth and Mars. He did not rule out the possibility that when creating a settlement on Mars, the pioneers would have to make tunnels under the surface, but stressed that the equipment suitable for such work should be much less massive than what is used now.
When asked when it is possible to expect in-orbit refueling tests on a prototype Starship spacecraft intended for a flight to Mars, Elon Musk replied that such tests could take place as early as 2022. In early September, during flight tests at the Boca Chica area (Texas), the prototype ship rose to a height of 45.7 m and made a smooth landing on an asphalt site near the launch pad.
The Starship reusable spacecraft is designed for flights to Mars and is designed for 100 people. Earlier, 49-year-old Musk said that he founded SpaceX in 2002 with the aim of helping humanity colonize Mars. According to NASA’s plans, the first manned flights to Mars could take place in the mid-2030s.