Musk, the billionaire Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX, announced on Monday that the company had plans to build a giant rocket and spaceship. The purpose of the crafts would be to theoretically send human beings to the planet, Mars. According to Musk, the long term theory behind the project is the possibility of colonizing Mars in the next two centuries.
Musk changed the name of a transport system to Mars a few weeks ago. The original name of the craft was the Mars Colonial Transporter. Via Twitter, Musk announced that he was changing the name to the Interplanetary Transport System. This, according to Musk, is due to the fact that he wants to take the project beyond visiting Mars and into the rest of the solar system.
According to Musk, there are four parts to his ITS model: a rocket, a spaceship, a fueling tanker, and propellant depots. The 77 meter tall rocket would act as a javelin to propel the spaceship. The propellant depots would provide methane fuel in different parts of the solar system that would allow travelers to go from Mars to the Moon and numerous other planets. Many are calling the idea a railroad for the solar system.
"If you have all of those four elements you can actually go anywhere in the Solar System by planet hopping or moon hopping," said Musk. "By establishing a propellant depot in the asteroid belt or on one of the moons of Jupiter, you can make flights from Mars to Jupiter, no problem."