During the Mars Society Convention 2020 event, which was held in the format of an online conference, the founder and head of SpaceX Elon Musk expressed the opinion that the northern regions of the planet are most suitable for placing the first human settlement on Mars.
“High latitudes would probably be most appropriate. People would like to settle closer to those areas where there is ice, which can be used, among other things, to obtain oxygen and energy. In addition, in these areas it would be easier to land vehicles that would use the Martian atmosphere for braking.“Musk said.
He also noted that one of the priority tasks for the members of the manned expedition is the creation of the capacities necessary for the production of rocket fuel, as well as the organization of a communication system. According to Musk, people need to organize the extraction of ice on Mars, since it can be used to create fuel. As for communication, then powerful lasers in orbit of our planet could be used to organize a channel between the Earth and Mars. It was also said that humans may have to tunnel under the surface of Mars. However, for this, according to the head of SpaceX, much less massive equipment is needed than what is used now.
During the speech, it was said that in-orbit refueling tests of the Starship prototype spacecraft, which is planned to be used for flights to Mars, could take place in 2022. Recall that in early September, during flight tests, the Starship prototype successfully ascended to a height of 45.7 m, and then made a smooth landing on the site not far from the launch pad.
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