SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk, who last month revealed details of his ambitious plans to get at least a million people to Mars, said mining robots will be a key part of the planned colonization of the red planet.
In reply to several inquiries during a question-and-answer “AMA” session on Reddit on Sunday, the tech billionaire — who also heads electric-vehicle specialist Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) — highlighted the vital role mining equipment is set to play when it comes to help people establish their homes in Mars.
He said he envisions geodesic domes on the surface made with glass panes supported by carbon fibre frames. Such structures would have additional areas mined out below the surface by robots for “industrial” uses.
“Initially, glass panes with carbon fibre frames to build geodesic domes on the surface, plus a lot of miner/tunnelling droids,” Musk wrote. “With the latter, you can build out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations and leave the glass domes for green living space.”
Concerning transporting those heavy machines as well as materials and people, Musk said that the first crewed mission would have about a dozen people, who will be tasked with building out and troubleshooting the propellant plant and Mars Base Alpha power system once it lands.
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