While we have been hearing a lot about SpaceX's bold mission to send the first human settlers to Mars, many might find themselves wondering just where these first visitors to the red planet will live, and principal Mars development engineer Paul Wooster has just provided us with a very exciting answer to this question.
According to CNet, the first unmanned SpaceX mission to Mars is slated for 2022 with crewed missions planned a few years after. While it is unknown if there will be some robotic means to help create a habitat for humans ahead of time, or if humans themselves will construct their own living environment, the one thing that is certain is that humans will need a stable place to live while they create a sustainable habitat for themselves and future settlers on Mars.
While speaking in Pasadena at the 21st annual Mars Society Convention, Wooster echoed what Elon Musk has previously stated about humans on Mars by noting that building a society on the red planet is "something where a lot of people beyond SpaceX can really contribute."
Paul Wooster later added that the first humans on Mars will most likely be using a BFR spacecraft to initially live in once they have landed. This would make the most sense as the different systems available on the BFR would be immensely useful, and if the BFRs are left behind, they would make an excellent early living habitat for human settlers.
"Early on, they're very valuable on the surface of Mars. You'd actually be having most of the ships stay and you'd be operating using the various systems on them to support the activities there. Very much early on they'd be sitting there indefinitely."Wooster noted that the BFR spacecraft would be staying on Mars for quite some time after humans had landed as they would prove invaluable when it comes to living environments and would be much more helpful in this capacity initially than they would be if they were used simply for transportation. The first humans on Mars would then be able to live in these fairly comfortably while construction went on elsewhere for future settlers.
It is the plan of SpaceX to build not just a small outpost on Mars, but to turn the first small community of humans into a large-scale town which will keep growing over time, and considering that the capacity of the BFR is such that it can easily hold "100 tons (90,719 kg) of useful payload to the surface of Mars," the first settlers will be able to take quite a lot of cargo to the red planet with them.
With the time fast approaching for SpaceX to launch the first humans to Mars, it will be fascinating to see how they take to their new living environment, which in this case appears as though it will be BFR spacecraft in the very beginning.