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Exclusive: Elon Musk Says; SpaceX Project A Massive New Spacecraft Could Explore The Entire Solar System

By Dante Noe Raquel II , Sep 28, 2016 07:52 PM EDT
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International Astronautical Congress 2016: Guadalajara: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pictured the future of vast and beyond space exploration. Creating fuel depots at Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and on their moons to supply exploration further.

The spacecraft that SpaceX is building to colonize Mars. "The project could also take people out to Jupiter's ocean-harboring moon Europa and beyond," company founder and CEO Elon Musk said.

Last Tuesday (Sept. 27), Musk introduced SpaceX's planned Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), a rocket spacecraft combo that the billionaire entrepreneur hopes will allow humankind to establish a long-lasting, self-sustaining, million-person settlement on Mars. The Red Planet is the first stop for ITS, but definitely not the last. [SpaceX's Massive New Spaceship Could Go Beyond Mars (Video)]

With the aid of refueling depots are crucial to success, "you could actually travel out to the Kuiper Belt [and] the Oort Cloud," Musk added. The Kuiper Belt is Pluto's neck of the woods, while the Oort Cloud, the realm of comets, is even more distant; it begins about 2,000 astronomical units (AU) from the sun. (One AU is the distance between Earth and the sun - about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers.)

There's no doubt that CEO Elon Musk is far more experienced about rockets. He has a clear imagery for the types of vehicles he thinks will make to fuel his passion for Mars settlement, both possible and affordable. And he's confident enough that he can deliver adept spacecraft, even if there are some questions involving the vehicles' reliability and accuracy.

"I think it's pretty important to give people the option of returning," Musk said, adding that the spacecraft will be returning to Earth from Mars anyways. "The number of people willing to move to Mars is much greater if they know they have the option of returning, even if they never return."

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