Nobody promised space travel would be easy. Well, nobody did until now. Billionaire Elon Musk is planning to make sure everyone who takes a SpaceX trip to Mars will be traveling in style, with “movies, lecture halls, cabins, and a restaurant.”
In a recent commentary about commercial trips to Mars, Musk said that if people are going to be in tight quarters for several month, it might as well be a fun trip. The plan, Musk said, was to attract an audience beyond stuffy people with money to burn.
“In order to make it appealing and increase that portion of the Venn diagram,” he said, “where people actually want to go, it has got to be really fun and exciting–it cannot feel cramped or boring.”
If a trip to Mars include zero gravity games and a cruise like atmosphere along the way, it might mean capturing a different demographic. Instead of people who just want to say they went or people obsessed with space, maybe this way will lure in people who just want the trip of a lifetime.
The ultimate plan, Musk says, is for space travel to be attainable for the average person. It’ll certainly be expensive, but the hope is for the price tag to be “less than the media house price.” The key to keeping the cost down is in reusing components, the company claims.
Of course, consumer space travel is still a long way off, even for SpaceX. The company is still in the process of developing a lot of their tech, and hasn’t even launched a person into space yet. But that could soon change.
Under a contract with NASA, SpaceX will begin launching people to the International Space Station within a few years. Robotic missions to Mars will follow shortly thereafter, to test the technology humans will need.