Humans have two choices, eventually going extinct, or becoming an interplanetary species. This is what Elon Musk said when he advertised the Mars Colonisation mission of Space X.
Colonisation of Mars has been an arduous project of many. More than 100,000 people have signed up to help the mission expecting to be a part of the greatest history of space science. About 40 of these 100,000 will be chosen, and they will never come back to Earth.
A lot of organisations claim to do the job. There's NASA, The European Space Agency, SpaceX, Russia's Roscosmos, and there also is the Dutch non-profit organisation, Mars One. NASA plans to inch humans towards the low Mars orbits by 2030 and land the surface in the 2040s. While their plan is solid, they soon might get overtaken by a private organisation. Mars One, crowdfunded by Dutch entrepreneurs plans to build a permanent base on the red planet by 2023.
The mission of Mars One would start off in 2018 with a telecom orbiter, followed by a settlement rover in 2020. This would mark the starting of habitat preparation along with creating oxygen. The 40 chosen colonisers will be trained in colonising skills for eight years. These 40 colonisers would be sent in batches of 4 every 2 years, only when the Earth and Mars are closest. Every human and other transportation would take place by SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy Rocket.
Each lander carrying the supplies would drop the stuff on the surface after travelling for 8 months. The capsules will be repurposed as houses, and solar panels would produce the power. Food will be transported in each new arrival, and they will even start growing food hydroponically. Other basics like Water, Oxygen, Nitrogen, etc. would be collected from the Mars itself. Methane collected from the surface of Mars would fuel the ship for the return trip.
Elon Musk says travelling to Mars would be a lot cheaper in future with the help of superior technology and reusable rockets. Currently, it costs $10 billion per head, but he assures to cut it down to $200,000. About a hundred colonists would ride a 40 storied rocket going at the speed of thousands of miles per hour to travel 140 million miles. He pictures them chilling out playing video games on the ship or ordering pizzas in the shops. Some negatives would be not getting showers, cabin fevers, irritabilities, depressions, and fatigue.
SpaceX can't fund it all by itself, though. Elon Musk believes in achieving the feat in a hundred years. SpaceX would first send a Dragon 2 capsule next year and repeat the same every 27 months. Each trip would take two to three tonnes of equipment from Earth to Mars. The mission is proactive as satellites are being launched and ISS are being resupplied. They need a lot of fund, and the announcement also had a purpose of attracting investors.
The journey won't be too simple. Spaceship imprisonment for a long time can cause depressions, fatigue, and moral breakdown. The ship crew would need a lot of tricks to keep the spirits high for the mission. The heat shields will protect them from re-entry, and retro propulsion would help the vehicle stop and land.
Yes, the mission has some series concerns as well. To top it all is the safe landing. Only one-third of the missions have been successful. The second is the high exposure to cosmic rays. It's like working in a nuclear reactor and risks could be as serious as cancer and Alzheimers. A spacesuit is designed to restrict the effect whose effectiveness is still in doubts. Children born on Mars can have motion sickness on Earth as the gravity there is one-third of what we have. We even don't know the effect of low gravity on the fetus. Low gravity can even make our bones weaker. These dilemmas need some answer.
The whole mission aims at building a huge metropolis on the red planet, and it would take at least tens of thousands of trips and thousands of ships. You won't get good food and Internet there or any of the awesome things like here on Earth. So why should you be a part of the mission? It's like choosing between dying early and making history on Mars or enjoying the luxuries of Earth. You now have an idea what it would be like, and the choice is yours. Have some luck.