Yes, you did read that correctly. Elon Musk shared photos with the world about a potential SpaceX staging base on both the Moon and Mars, within the next 5 years. Here’s everything you need to know.
Just before a presentation on colonizing Mars last week, Elon Musk shared a rendered photo of a potential interplanetary rocket, sitting on the surface of the Moon. The photo was shared via Instagram (below), and was captioned with “Moon Base Alpha,” suggesting that this would be the first of several bases on the Moon. This idea would be completed with SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System that the company has been working on for some time, and could be the driving force that establishes a true human presence on the Moon and Mars later down the road.
Musk did not share anything more than that with viewers, but the idea was a surprise to many as Musk has stressed colonization on Mars, not the Moon, and clearly that has changed. Musk never liked the idea of colonizing the Moon as the planet is so small, but with the current administration, and foreign countries continuing to increase interest in colonizing the Moon, these photos could help to sell the idea to a potential buyer. If the premise is the same both planets, then it could also be used to sell a trip to Mars in several years as the Moon could be a stepping stone to Mars.
Speaking of Mars, Musk also posted a rendering of a SpaceX base and city like living area on Mars to his Instagram account as well (below). During his presentation, Musk went into some detail, and his ultimate goal is to be on the planet (that being Mars) by 2024, only seven years from now.
Undoubtedly, this is a very, very big undertaking. There are a lot of moving pieces, and a single problem could derail that time table. If Musk can pull this off, however, it will forever change space exploration. Time will tell how other countries and private companies react to the very ambitious goal that Musk has set for himself and his team over at SpaceX.