Elon Musk’s SpaceX company is reported to have hosted a secret ‘Mars Workshop’ meeting last week which took place in Boulder, Colorado. The meeting, which was held over Tuesday and Wednesday, focused on discussing plans that could be cemented for getting people to Mars and building an outpost there.
According to Business Insider, those who attended the special meeting on colonizing Mars were invited to take part in “active discussions regarding what will be needed to make such missions happen.”
SpaceX are said to have invited around 60 leading engineers and scientists to the ‘Mars Workshop’ meeting, but asked them to keep as quiet as possible about the plan and their involvement in it, and the details of this workshop only emerged after Ars Technica’s Eric Berger reported it.
While different individuals from NASA’s Mars exploration program allegedly attended the meeting, details have so far not emerged as to who was actually present.
The workshop is reported to be “the first meeting of such magnitude” that SpaceX has held so far, and it is all in keeping with the company’s bold vision to take the first humans to Mars in 2024 and eventually colonize the Red Planet, making us truly an interplanetary species.
While the ‘Mars Workshop’ may be the first large-scale attempt by SpaceX to secure the valuable opinions and advice of scientists and engineers, the company has noted that “we regularly meet with a variety of experts concerning our missions to Mars, ” and that their colonization plans are an ongoing work in progress.
As NASA’s D. Marshall Porterfield explained, technology already exists to send spacecraft to Mars and keep it there for decades. However, SpaceX and scientists are currently examining the logistics in getting humans safely to Mars and building a sustainable colony that will thrive in the future. By bringing top scientists and engineers from around the world together in a meeting like this, the greatest minds of our time can grapple with how this can best be accomplished.
“We already have the technology to build rockets and land vehicles on Mars. We’ve been doing that for decades. The main hindrance is the human factor. If you really are going to land a person on Mars, you have to feed them, keep them healthy, and build them habitats.”
Earlier this year, Elon Musk stated that he still feels “pretty optimistic” about his company’s plans to land humans on Mars and eventually colonize it, describing how the start of the new colony would first be about building the necessary infrastructure that humans would need to survive on the Red Planet. After this, anything is up for grabs and opportunities will swiftly open up for intrepid explorers and entrepreneurs alike.
“It will start off building just the most elementary infrastructure, just a base to create some propellant, a power station, blast domes in which to grow crops — all of the sort of fundamentals without which you cannot survive. And then really there’s going to be an explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity because Mars will need everything from iron foundries to pizza joints. I think Mars should really have great bars: the Mars Bar.”
With the first uncrewed mission to Mars set tentatively for 2022, Elon Musk’s SpaceX clearly means business and the ‘Mars Workshop’ that was held last week is another step in the adventurous plans to colonize Mars and make humans interplanetary.