Elon Musk has ambitious plans that rival those of NASA's manned mission to Mars.
The SpaceX CEO plans to send humans to the Red Planet but unlike the U.S. space agency, which plans to only set up a Martian research station that will be manned by a crew of astronauts, Musk envisions a million people living in Mars in 40 to 100 years.
In a speech delivered on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, Musk revealed his plan to send fleets of spaceship to the Red Planet.
He unveiled the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), which could transport at least 100 people to Mars per flight.
He said that the ITS will likely feature lecture halls, movie theaters, and a restaurant, which could give passengers a far different experience from those of the Apollo astronauts who were crammed into a small capsule when they traveled to the moon.
The trip from Earth to Mars is envisioned to take between 80 and 150 days depending on the time of the year.
If everything goes as planned, the ITS, whose development is estimated to cost $10 billion, can help humanity establish a permanent and self-sustaining colony on Mars in just four decades.
"What I really want to do here is to make Mars seem possible — make it seem as though it's something that we could do in our lifetimes, and that you can go," Musk said.
The billionaire estimated that with current technology, one ticket to Mars would cost about $10 billion per person, which makes reusability an essential factor in making Mars trips more cost-effective.
The reusable ITS spaceship and booster will likely fly at least a dozen times and this could significantly reduce the cost of tickets to reasonable levels. Musk said that this architecture could bring down the cost per ticket to less than $200,000 and even below $100,000.
It is not yet clear how Mars colonists would live on the Red Planet but Musk hopes to complete the first development of the spaceship that will bring them there within four years.
Musk's plans to colonize Mars are fascinating but the SpaceX CEO is not likely to be one of the first humans who would go to the Red Planet. The billionaire said that anyone who wants to go to there should be prepared for the risk of death.
Here's the video featuring SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System: