Last year, billionaire SpaceX founder and space-fan Elon Musk delivered an expansive, hour-long presentation, outlining his ambitious plan to get humanity to the Red Planet. Musk has recently published a research paper adapted from that presentation entitled "Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species".
The 15-page paper, published in the journal New Space, and available for free until early July, doesn't offer a great deal of new information that wasn't presented last year, but it certainly reads like a solid manifesto from a man who is very serious about colonizing our solar system.
"So how do we figure out how to take you to Mars and create a self-sustaining city," asks Musk, "a city that is not merely an outpost but which can become a planet in its own right, allowing us to become a truly multi-planetary species."
The paper is certainly a compelling read, covering in reasonable detail the engineering challenges in getting to Mars and the realistic costs per person. Musk also reiterates several exciting benchmarks in his timeline that will take us to Mars, with the first unmanned payloads being delivered to the Red Planet within the next two years.