Perhaps inspired by the brilliant performance of his fellow Hollywood colleague, actor Leonardo DiCaprio revealed earlier this month that he has already signed up for a trip to Mars. His intention is to participate in the first SpaceX mission being organised by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who wants to put the first human on Martian soil in 2025.
The Interplanetary Transport System designed by SpaceX, composed of reusable rockets and a spacecraft that can be refueled and resupplied in space, should make a first test flight in two years time, involving a round trip to the Red Planet, without passengers. Thus, the flight of the Red Dragon spacecraft will pave the way for the first humans to travel from Earth to Mars with greater safety.
If all goes as planned, the first manned mission will last between 80-150 days and each passenger will have to shell out $200,000 per ticket. As the SpaceX spacecraft could hold up to a 100-strong crew, Musk predicts that by 2060, one million Earthlings could be living on Mars.
For now, however, the possibility of a journey to Mars would seem restricted to the wealthy only. And us lowly Earthlings will cheer on Mr. Musk and hope he can soon find a way to open up access to interplanetary missions to the populace.
As for Mr DiCaprio - do you really think we can expect to see him one day on the Red Planet? Or is it more likely to be a touch of Hollywood embellishment to spin a good story?
Original article in Portuguese can be read in the Diário Popular Pelotas newspaper by clicking the link.