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Elon Musk: Mars City By 2024

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Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of SpaceX and Telsa Inc. (TSLA), has unveiled ambitious plans to establish a human base on Mars by 2024 and land at least two cargo missions on the red planet just five years from now.

Speaking at the International Astronautical Congress or IAC in Adelaide, Australia on Friday, Musk provided an update to his 2016 presentation regarding the long-term technical challenges required to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars.

To take humans to mars, Musk said that SpaceX intends to develop the "BFR" system, which includes a reusable rocket that will be powered by 31 engines and a 48-meter-tall spacecraft.

The spacecraft will be able to hold 100 people and also have the capability to be refueled in space. In addition, the BFR system could be used for city-to-city travel on Earth, reducing the time taken for intercontinental flights to less than an hour.

The two cargo missions to Mars in 2022 would be able to confirm sources of water and identify any potential hazards, along with building power, mining and life support infrastructure for the first settlers projected to arrive by 2024.

This will be followed by two crew ships and two cargo ships to Mars in 2024. The first wave of human travelers will be able to set up the base to prepare for future settlers. The proposed base on Mars has been dubbed the "Mars City".

Musk noted that SpaceX could start construction of the first BFR spacecraft around the second quarter of 2018.

"I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and be ready for a launch in about five years. Five years seems like a long time to me," Musk said.

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