The Mission Mars: How SpaceX Will Profit from The Red Planet

INSAF ALI

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Humans are an ambitious bunch of beings. Our latest seemingly overreaching ambition is now to become a multi-planetary species. This noble cause is championed by several people including writers, space explorers, scientists, and well billionaires of all the prominence of this cause.

There is one man that stands out above all as the champion of it, Elon Musk. This man has a singularly revitalized human interest in extending human habituation to other planets. Even the almighty NASA now relies on Elon Musk and is the company to ferry two-thirds of their payloads and astronauts into space.

All these have been achieved through SpaceX and he plans to achieve much more by colonizing Mars.

How SpaceX plans to colonize Mars

Covering such a long distance to mars and having to travel back and forth requires advanced rockets, spacecraft, and huge capital. Colonizing Mars it’s a dangerous and ridiculously expensive venture. But Elon Musk has embarked on it anyways.

The first stage is producing reusable rockets with perfectly controlled rocket landings. SpaceX has already achieved both goals with its Falcon 9 rocket boosters having been successfully reused many times over.

It is also building an advanced launch vehicle which it calls Starship but that’s just the beginning. It would also require a powerful launch vehicle that would be capable of covering the distance between us and mars in as little time as possible. While the average time it takes to get to Mars is seven months.

SpaceX plans to do it in six. When Earth and Mars are both perfectly aligned. The perfect alignment of Earth and Mars occurs once every 26 months.

Starship & The Super-Heavy Rocket

To get to miles within the time frame of six months. SpaceX plans to utilize Starship and the Super-Heavy Rocket. These two make up what SpaceX originally referred to as the interplanetary transportation system (ITS).

Starship is being developed with the capacity of conveying over 100 metric tons to Earth’s orbit. Powered by nine Raptor engines it will be able to make the flight though. It must first refuel in its orbit before embarking on the long journey to Mars where it would refuel using the available Martian resources.

SpaceX on its website outlines the planned trip in six stages. In the first stage, the spacecraft is launched while the reusable rocket booster returns to Earth. The ship would stop over at its orbit in the second stage. In the third stage, tankers in orbit would then refuel the starship.

While the orbit refueling tankers returned to Earth Starship would then continue on its journey towards Mars in the fourth stage. In the fifth, the ship is once again refueled using Mars resources. in the sixth stage, the ship takes off once again and returns to Earth. It May sound simple but it’s actually very complicated.

SpaceX is notorious for trying to simplify everything about spaceflight. Once the first settlers get to Mars.

How SpaceX Plans to Make Mars Habitable

The answer to how SpaceX plans to make Mars habitable might shock you. But right before we answer that let’s briefly consider why SpaceX chose Mars out of all the planets.

Mars is incredibly Earth-like in a lot of ways. It’s got a day and night cycle extremely close to ours where one day equals 24 hours and 37 minutes. Like Earth, Mars is also 4.5 billion years old and is made of the same materials as Earth.

However, it’s just got 38% of its gravitational force which many consider as an advantage as they can lift heavier objects with lesser force. One more interesting fact about Mars is that it is much colder than Earth.

Musk says they’ll overcome this challenge as they intend to warm it up. Now you might be wondering how they intend to do that and the answer is not as far-fetched as it may first seem.

It’s the same way earth has gradually been getting warmer and warmer over the last two centuries greenhouse gases. To achieve this Elon Musk often suggested that they might opt for a process referred to as Terraforming. To do this they might have to deploy a nuclear bomb and simply nuke Mars.

Now you’ve probably seen him wearing one of those SpaceX t-shirts with the inscription Nuke Mars and Occupy Mars. While this particular option is still an intellectual exercise. It is one of the options that SpaceX has left open.

Now to the main question, you must have been asking if SpaceX Mars colonization missions succeed then what does SpaceX stand to gain as I pointed out earlier?

Elon Musk is a businessman not just a visionary.

How SpaceX will profit from the Mars venture?

According to Meyers NASA's lead mars expert, he told CNN Business in an interview that the relevant question is not if travels to Mars will be a profitable venture but when will it become one?

Since it’s an inevitable business venture that many private individuals will eventually indulge in. While it will cost SpaceX so much money to achieve the concept of an interplanetary profit is quite appealing.

If one can make 200 billion dollars on a single planet. What about if your business operates on two planets?

If all goes well and Mars gets colonized, how will SpaceX generate profits from Mars?

Number 1 — Tourism

One of the several ways in which SpaceX and its investors can make huge profits is through tourism. Imagine the huge amount of money countries can make from tourism each year.

In this regard over 1 billion earthlings go to a tourist attraction each year. While it is mainly millionaires and billionaires who will be able to afford the tickets and the cost of going on a tourist vacation to Mars.

Consider the fact that the earth has 46.8 million millionaires. Even if we want to exclude the millionaires earth still has about 2825 billionaires. Imagine if 40% of these decided to spend their vacation on the Martian planet. They wouldn’t opt for tourism alone they would request for as much luxury as their money can buy and when you consider it billionaires generally love exotic tourism and luxury.

If they can spend tens of millions on automobiles ships and private jets they won’t mind spending a few million bucks on a rare lifetime supply and going on tourism to mars. After full optimization of their spaceflight and Mars SpaceX plans to charge a modest transport fee of 200,000$ which these millionaires and billionaires can easily afford.

Number 2 — Interplanetary Taxi

SpaceX also stands to profit a lot from the interplanetary transportation services it would offer. In fact, SpaceX doesn’t have to wait for that long. It is already being engaged to deliver special several payloads such as military government and privately owned satellites into space.

It was actually contracted last year by NASA to ferry two of their astronauts into earth’s orbit.

SpaceX currently handles two-thirds of NASA's payload launches with the Falcon 9 rocket which has already fulfilled over a hundred missions. So it wouldn’t be hard to guess that SpaceX would offer interplanetary ferry services from which it would stand to make a good deal of money.

The interplanetary cargo there will be ferrying will include humans satellites, military hardware, personal effects, etc it would operate. Like an airliner but charging a whole lot more.

Number 3 — Perfect Retirement

There are categories of millionaires and billionaires who would choose Mars as their final retirement center. But they aren’t just going sightseeing. They’re also going to live out the last of their days there. To these people, there will be nothing more spectacular than departing the universe on another planet such as Mars.

There is also the proposition that since Mars has just 38% of earth’s gravity people will live much longer than on earth as it is believed the gravity contributes immensely to man’s aging process. Mars would therefore be the most suitable place for those high and mighty who fancy the concept of longevity.

Some will even readily liquidate their assets and holdings here on earth and move everything up there. It wouldn’t be something new since Musk himself once liquidated all he had in order to migrate to the U.S with the two thousand dollars he realized.

SpaceX and his engineers would make a fortune in helping such billionaires and millionaires achieve this dream.

Number 4 — Provision of Luxury Goods & Essential Services

For those earthlings who choose to reside on Mars, they will require certain essential services like breathable air, power, agricultural production, medical services, etc.

Individuals cannot provide these services due to the huge capital is going to require. Corporations like SpaceX will have to and the services will be provided at a premium price unlike on earth.

SpaceX will also have to provide luxury goods such as Martian transportation or vehicles. Tesla would definitely prove useful in this regard. All these are viable sources of profit for SpaceX.

Number 5 — Filming Internet & Entertainment

Another highly lucrative venture through which SpaceX will gross in quite a lot of money is through the provision of filming streaming services and entertainment.

It would certainly take quite a long time before Mars is able to cultivate a new culture of entertainment. In the meantime, Martians will still depend on earth’s entertainment for things like film streaming services, sporting activities, and the likes.

Starlink another one of Elon Musk’s company can make these services readily available as they can beam tv programs at Mars. Even when Mars has fully developed its own entertainment culture many will still miss some of the earth’s peculiar entertainment.

Why do you think we still cherish classical works of art?

No one wants to lose touch with his origin provision of film streaming, internet, and entertainment services is yet another way by which SpaceX and Starlink stand to make a lot of money.

Number 6 — Communication

Communication is yet another vital field that must be offered. Communication among fellow Martians is essential. Communication with earthlings will also be a necessity. If telecommunications service providers make so much money on national and intercontinental communications imagine how much SpaceX will be making providing interplanetary communications.

Number 7 — Natural Resources

Since Mars is made up of almost the same stuff as earth then there is also a high probability that there will be precious natural resources such as Platinum, Gold, Iridium, Uranium, Diamond, Palladium, and other precious natural resources.

In fact, there may also be more precious elements that are currently unknown to man. Undertaking the mining of such precious natural resources will certainly bring a huge profit.

Number 8 — Martian Artifacts

Another means from which SpaceX can probably make a lot of money is through the sales and exploitation of artifacts from civilizations such as Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and so on.

Why do ancient artifacts from civilizations such as Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and so on cost so much?

Artifacts from the past are valued greatly, the same will be true for Mars. SpaceX only needs to collect some and keep. In a few hundred years these will become highly prized artifacts.

Let’s move on to the final source from which SpaceX can profit from its proposed venture to mars.

Number 9 — Intellectual Profit

While Elon Musk hasn’t publicly announced the means by which SpaceX plans on making a profit from its mars exploration missions. Musk in 2012 did mention that a lot would be made from the intellectual proprietary data that they intend to collect.

If SpaceX happens to eventually colonize Mars. The space flight company can further study new planets which are currently inaccessible or unknown to us. They might even be able to gather new data about the earth itself as their observation will be concluded and conducted from outside the planet. Quality research data is extremely valuable and SpaceX intends to cash out on it.

For long humans have been dreaming and hoping to become multi-planetary species. It is imagined in art written about in books and showcased in sci-fi movies. Today SpaceX is pushing us closer to the realization of this dream and we might just start from the big red planet. But as a privately owned company with a visionary CEO, it might make a profit and there are several unexplored avenues for that.

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