SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that building a self-contained city on Mars would require 1,000 spacecraft and will take 20 years. He also reveals the cost of launch per spacecraft and plans for launch facilities.
Elon Musk said at a U.S. Air Force event in California, US, that the cost of a single launch would be $2 million, considering the fuel cost of the spacecraft at $900,000. According to him, the spacecraft can fire up to three times a day. In other words, a spacecraft can launch 1,000 times a year, sending more than 10 million tons of people and goods into space in a year. Nevertheless, the construction of Hwaseong City takes about 20 years. The reason is that planetary arrangements suitable for launching spacecraft from Earth to Mars are only available every two years.
SpaceX is preparing a line that can produce one Raptor, a spacecraft rocket engine, by 2020. Raptor is reinforcing it to have 300 tons of propulsion each. If this is realized, the launch cost per weight could be lower than expected.
Launching a spacecraft requires not only cost but also noise issues. In addition, spacecraft can be used not only for transport to the Moon and Mars, but also for high-speed transport on Earth. From the United States to the United Arab Emirates, you can travel in 90 minutes. However, if it is launched three times a day, it is not realistic to launch in the suburbs of the city because there is concern about environmental damage caused by noise or vibration. Elon Musk says it is considering building a commercial space station 32 kilometers outside.
In addition, NASA is setting a goal of conducting a lunar landing by 2024 and a manned expedition to Mars by 2033. Building a city on Mars requires dispatching employees locally, so building a self-contained city on Mars will be as fast as expected, but it can be thought that it will be after 2050. Related information can be found here .