If Elon Musk's utopian dream of Mars becoming Earth II comes to pass, we'll be able to buy $200,000 tickets to get to the Red Planet where a city of one million "Martians" will rise within this century.
No one ever accused Musk of being timid and his vision for Mars, which will be accomplished through SpaceX and its ever expanding fleet of rockets, is bold in the extreme. Even rash.
Could Musk be John Carter's grandson?
Musk outlined his long-awaited vision for Mars at the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sept. 27.
"We're figuring out how to take you to Mars and build a self-sustaining city," Musk said, "to become a truly multiplanetary species."
The visionary revealed a vision whose centerpiece will be a self-sustaining city on Mars that he called the next giant leap for humanity.
Continuous trips to Mars on reusable rockets such as the Falcon-class being developed by Musk's SpaceX will drive down costs until almost anyone could buy a ticket to Mars.
A one-way ticket will cost $200,000 at first but will fall to $100,000 over time, said Musk.
The rockets Musk sees as taking human colonists to Mars will be huge, with each capable of transporting 100 passengers.
A steady stream of these rockets and colonists will eventually lead to the creation of a Martian city of one million earthlings. Or is the correct word, Martians?
Musk said the Mars voyages might start within a decade "if things go super-well."
"It will be a challenge to fund this whole endeavor," said Musk.
"As we show that this dream is not just a dream but can be made real, the support will snowball over time."
He noted that public-private partnerships will be needed to make it possible.
Musk's presentation, "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species," was the highlight of the congress. The gathering of space enthusiasts, scientists, engineers and government officials watched Musk's technical presentation while thousands more watched via livestreams.
SpaceX is already scheduling missions of its unmanned Red Dragon to explore Mars in 2018. These missions will help in the design of the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System, which includes a rocket with 42 Raptor engines and a larger spacecraft to ferry people to Mars and beyond.
Musk showed a four-minute animated video during his presentation that revealed how the Interplanetary Transport System would work.
You can watch explain his vision for Mars here.