Mars…the Red Planet…the future fiefdom of Elon Musk?
There have been some exciting recent developments in the sphere of private space exploration. In July, Sir Richard Branson participated in a test flight of his commercial space liner, VSS Unity, from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Shortly afterward, another billionaire—this time it was Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos—blasted into space aboard his private rocketship New Shepard. To top it all off, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the first crewed, all-tourist orbital flight in September.
But it’s Elon Musk and Mars exploration that gets people really excited. The innovative entrepreneur has some big plans when it comes to space exploration and Mars colonization. And that even includes the minutiae of what kind of currency and financial system will operate among his future Martian colonies.
So let’s take a look at what Elon Musk has to say about the role of cryptocurrency in his coming interplanetary colonies, and especially how “Marscoin” factors in all of this.
Elon Musk and Mars: A Billionaire’s Plans for the Future
Before we delve into the intricacies of Marscoin, we need to take a look at Elon Musk and Mars exploration. Specifically, we need to look at his plans for colonizing the Red Planet.
There’s a lot to explore here. Fleets of a thousand gigantic spaceships, each capable of accommodating 100 passengers or more, departing for Mars every other year. A city of a million “Martians” in thirty years. Nuking Mars’ polar caps with high-yield thermonuclear weapons. Turning the Red Planet Blue.
If all this sounds like wildest science fiction—well, maybe it is. But it also happens to be part of Elon Musk’s scheme to plant a functioning human colony on Mars and perhaps build a brand-new human civilization.
Here’s a look at some of the steps in SpaceX’s plans for Mars colonization.
The first obstacle to be overcome in the colonization of the Solar System is simply getting there.
Space is awfully big, and bridging the gulf between the Earth and Mars has never been easy. The first step, therefore, is to build a reliable people-mover and cargo-mover that can move between the planets.
SpaceX has been tackling the baby steps in this process over nearly two decades. The results have been spectacular. The company’s workhorse Falcon line of rockets has delivered payloads to orbit with a tremendous success rate. This even includes manned space capsules.
Then there’s the whole matter of reusable spacecraft. The rationale here is to lower costs and prepare for the harsh necessities of interplanetary space travel.
It had always been the custom of space vehicles to employ disposable, discardable rocket boosters. But this is wasteful and expensive. Plus, spacecraft landing on Mars will need to return without the luxury of expendable boosters.
This problem was tackled and solved by SpaceX with the creation of reusable boosters, which can be landed either at the original spaceport or upon seaborne barges.
The next step is the creation of heavy rockets, capable of lifting huge payloads into orbit—analogous to the Saturn V of the Apollo Era, or the current Delta IV Heavy. Musk’s company rose to the challenge here, too, with the Falcon Heavy.
Standing nearly 230 feet tall, the Falcon Heavy can boost a payload of nearly 64 metric tons into orbit. But, for the test flight, SpaceX settled on blasting a Tesla Roadster.
The next important milestone in conquering the Red Planet is to actually put human beings into orbit. SpaceX nailed this test, with several crewed Dragon capsules already servicing the International Space Station—to say nothing of the recent Inspiration4 orbital tourist flight.
Still, colonizing Mars will require something a little more ambitious. Fortunately, SpaceX excels at realizing even the wildest ambitions.
So the company’s building and testing its new Starship line of spacecraft, which are intended to be its flagship interplanetary colonizers. Starship consists of the Starship spacecraft together with its Super Heavy rocket.
The whole assemblage will stand nearly 400 feet tall and have the ability to lift over 100 metric tons into orbit. It will be the largest and most powerful launch vehicle ever developed—surpassing even the mighty Saturn V.
Best of all, it will be able to carry upwards of 100 passengers to Mars and beyond. Or, in place of passengers, the Starship can ferry much-needed material to the Red Planet.
In the shorter term, the spacecraft is still in the testing phases. In 2023, a Starship is slated to take Japanese billionaire and entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa on a lunar mission—the first since the Apollo lunar missions ended half a century earlier.
And, if Musk’s timeline holds, there’ll be a Starship headed to Mars by 2026.
Fleets of Starships
Building a functioning, reusable Starship is just the first step.
Next comes Musk’s plans to produce a flotilla of these space vehicles. Launching by the hundreds into low Earth orbit, this imposing armada will convey refugees from Earth to Mars…and life will never be the same.
Now, this is where Musk’s notorious optimism kicks into overdrive. The idea is to build a fleet of one thousand Starships. These spacecraft will be able to transport 100 or more megatons of men and materiel to the planet Mars. With 100 passengers per ship, that means an exodus of 100,000 people.
With the fleet built and readied on Earth, the Starships will be launched into orbit and staged for departure. This is where things get a little tricky.
The problem is, there’s a limited launch window to reach Mars in a timely fashion—and it only comes around every two years. Also, it’s a brief window of about thirty days.
So Musk’s idea is to have the flotilla of Starships staged in orbit and ready to go when the window arrives. Then, all 1,000 spacecraft will be dispatched en masse toward the Red Planet.
That’s a lot of people arriving all at once on the dusty, waterless, oxygen-less plains of Mars. Hopefully, there’ll be something waiting for them once they get there. But those are the minor details—and Musk has plenty of time to figure them out.
A City on Mars
And that brings us to the next step.
When it comes to Elon Musk and Mars, the man has no dearth of ambition. He has plans to establish a functioning Martian city by 2050, complete with science-fictional glass domes. And we’re not talking about some podunk “city” of a few scientists and out-of-work PhDs.
This is meant to be the genuine article—a real, honest-to-God city of one million people. Apparently, the city already has a name: “Nuwa,” after an ancient Chinese goddess. This will be the crowning glory of SpaceX’s Mars colonization plans.
The existence of a true, off-world city on Mars will mark the culmination of Musk’s longtime vision of turning mankind into what he calls “a multiplanetary species.” It’s the springboard for the creation of a new civilization, one that is independent of the civilizations of Earth. And, at that point, anything is possible.
Still, not everyone is thrilled with the idea. The celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog has panned the notion as an obscenity. To do so would be to make man a species of interplanetary locusts, he claims, despoiling not only his own world but others as well.
Regardless, for the time being, Musk’s vision of the future seems to be winning out.
At last, we come to the final and most ambitious stage in SpaceX’s plan to colonize the Red Planet.
Living in domed cities is all well and good. But the ultimate aim is to make the planet livable. And this requires some advanced technology and ambitious projects to make the Red Planet a Blue Planet more akin to Earth.
Musk’s wild terraforming ideas may seem like science fiction right now. In a nutshell, they involve exploding thermonuclear weapons over the planet’s polar ice caps. This would release carbon dioxide gas and densify Mars’ exiguous atmosphere.
Or maybe he would use orbital mirrors to concentrate heat and gradually warm the polar caps. Either way, these are long-range goals. But, if nothing else, it does show that Elon Musk is thinking ahead.
So, what does this all have to do with Marscoin?
Well, part of planning for a future Martian colony means thinking about the financial networks that will undergird this off-world civilization. And that’s where Marscoin enters the picture.
Marscoin is an interesting entrant in the world of cryptocurrency, and its history is quite unique. Like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Marscoin developed from the very human enthusiasm for space exploration and colonization. Byte Federal digs a little deeper into the history of this remarkable cryptocurrency.
If the Mars colonization efforts of Elon Musk and SpaceX have inspired you, you’re not alone. Of course, not everyone is able to contribute to the spacecraft engineering and other challenges that surround the attempt to colonize Mars.
But there are other challenges, and some of these fall within the wheelhouse of people who aren’t…well, rocket scientists. And this includes things like a dedicated cryptocurrency.
The point of Marscoin is to solve the vexing issue of how to develop a meaningful financial system for Mars. Because there’ll have to be a functioning economic system to sustain the colony.
And it just so happens that the recent evolution of our terrestrial, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies is the perfect instrument for an interplanetary economy.
The Role of Marscoin
The hope is that Marscoin can someday reach a comparable level of trading volume to cryptocurrencies like Ether or Bitcoin. And if this occurs, Marscoin will form the backbone of what could develop into an interplanetary financial system.
When that happens, the Martian colonies will have their own independent currency. They won’t have to depend on trade networks linking them to Earth. And if that all sounds a little too science-fictional, it’s worth mentioning that many intelligent people are tackling this problem.
As long as investors continue to put money and faith into Marscoin, it will also help to fund the efforts of the Mars Society and other organizations. And that’s a small contribution toward the effort to put a human colony on Mars.
Elon Musk on Marscoin
So where does Elon Musk come down on this new cryptocurrency?
Earlier in the year, Musk tweeted about Martian cryptocurrencies, claiming that there will “definitely be a MarsCoin.” He further spoke about the matter in other Twitter threads, speculating about how the Martian economy would be run on cryptocurrency.
Of course, Musk’s mention of Marscoin sent the cryptocurrency soaring to an all-time high of $0.93 in February of 2021. Currently, the Marscoin price has plummeted to only $0.02, so the enthusiasm for this cryptocurrency has cooled somewhat.
And this makes sense. As we’ve seen, the Marscoin crypto is very unique and is tailored to a niche audience. For the time being, its greatest appeal is to those who are enthusiastic about space exploration. This may very well change in the future.
For instance, as Elon Musk’s colonization plans are realized, the prospects for a real Martian cryptocurrency may brighten. Either way, if you’re interested in space exploration, and the colonization of Mars, investing in Marscoin makes sense. There’s little risk at this stage, and there may even be a considerable reward someday.
Marscoin: The Martian Crypto
The jury’s still out on whether Marscoin will ever be able to compete with Bitcoin or the other top altcoins.
In reality, its success will depend on the success of SpaceX’s ventures on the Red Planet. But Elon Musk and Mars go together like a horse and carriage. If anyone can make it happen, it’s Musk. So keep an eye on Marscoin—we might all be using it someday in Musk’s Martian city of Nuwa.
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