CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide

Musk's Mars rocket

New grand-daddy of all rockets

Rocket man

So far... lots of rockets

SpaceX vs. Saturn V

Your ride to Mars

Meet the Raptor

Raptors in formation

One hefty rocket

Inside a future space ship

Musk and "future Mars"

Mars is not enough

Cosmic filling stops

Mars economics

Martian fiesta?

In a much-anticipated talk at a space conference in Mexico on Tuesday, SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed his grand ambition to build a city on Mars of as many as a million people and as soon as the 2060s. The plan centers on a huge new SpaceX rocket (shown here in a slide from Musk's presentation) even more powerful than the huge Saturn V rockets used for the Apollo missions of the 1960s and '70s.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

This comparison shows how the SpaceX Mars rocket, powered by nearly 50 Raptor engines, will dwarf most other rockets.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

Musk on stage at the International Astronautical Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico. The SpaceX CEO laid out an audacious plan over the course of a few hours detailing a timeline that begins with initial flights to Mars within a decade working toward a goal of a self-sustaining Martian metropolis.

Caption by / Photo by Oscar Gutierrez/CNET

A timeline of SpaceX rocket launches so far. Musk has built an impressive commercial rocket enterprise in 15 years, but it's nothing compared with what he hopes to accomplish in the next 40 years.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

A comparison of the SpaceX Mars vehicle and Saturn V rocket used for NASA's moon missions.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little / CNET

This slide from Musk's Mars show details the SpaceX space ship that would transport passengers between Mars and Earth and perhaps even deeper into the solar system. It is designed to eventually carry 100 passengers, although at one point Musk mentioned he hoped to have ships with twice that capacity.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little / CNET

A look at the engine that will power SpaceX Mars missions. Each rocket will carry 47 of these to create over three times more thrust than a Saturn V rocket.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little / CNET

This slide shows how the dozens of engines in each Mars rocket would be configured.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

A break down of the specs on the Mars rocket booster that will do most of the heavy lifting for Mars missions to get payloads out of Earth's gravity well. Afterward, it separates and returns to Earth to be re-used, just like what SpaceX has started to demonstrate with its Falcon 9 rockets.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

The view from inside the development tank for SpaceX's Mars ship.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

Throughout the presentation, the depiction of Mars behind Musk would change, sometimes appearing as the dry, desolate Mars we know, and other times appearing transformed into a more Earth-like world with clouds and patches of green.

Caption by / Photo by Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

As if building a metropolis on Mars weren't ambitious enough, Musk ended by noting that SpaceX's space ships could be ideal for exploring the rest of the solar system of refueling stations were setup on places like Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

Europa, which has been in the news this week as a place worth exploring for potential life, is another place Musk envisions as good for setting up a cosmic gas station.

Caption by / Photo by Screen shot by Morgan Little/CNET

To make his Martian metropolis feasible, Musk said it would be first necesarry to bring down the cost of moving to the red planet to under $200,000 in today's dollars.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET

Back in 2002, the early SpaceX team shows it has what it takes to make humans an interplanetary species... or something. For all the details, be sure to check out our live coverage of the event.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Morgan Little/CNET
Published: