Elon Musk believes that building a sustainable Martian colony would cost “between $100 billion and $10 trillion.”
The idea of a colony on Mars is an extremely attractive one, and active efforts have been made in this direction in recent decades, however, with a distant perspective. What is certain at this point is that a colonization attempt will have to overcome a multitude of obstacles and will be extremely expensive.
In a message on a social network, Elon Musk explained that he believes that building a colony on Mars will cost “between $100 billion and $10 trillion” which, to put it in perspective, means a significant chunk of the budget of the armed forces of the United States of America this year, amounting to almost $800 billion.
Between $100B and $10T
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 9, 2019
The calculation made by Musk started from the minimum cost of sending a cargo in space: about $100,000 per ton. At $1 million in construction materials and equipment, Musk has reached $100 billion.
SpaceX, the company whose CEO is Elon Musk, may also be involved in shipping cargo to Mars, and following the announcements made in recent months, the Starship project could produce the space rockets it would need for such a contract. However, the prospect of colonization of Mars is still far away, with many unknown details regarding travel safety for future settlers, ways of growing food and building habitats that are environmentally friendly.