A trip to Mars with Space X could cost the same as buying a house in the U.S.

The higher the demand for space travel, the cheaper it will be to fly to Mars, says a board member of Space X

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 5:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 5:36pm

SpaceX’s plan to take people to Mars in a giant rocket could cost just US$200,000 for a round trip, a board member for Elon Musk’s space exploration company told CNBC on Thursday.

In September, Musk revealed plans for an “interplanetary transport system” – a giant rocket able to fit 100 people and enough cargo to build self-sustaining colonies on the Red Planet. The aim is to get humans to Mars around the year 2025.

As more and more people travel, the cost of flying to Mars will be “dramatically cheaper”, according to Steve Jurvetson, a board member of SpaceX.

“At the limit when there’s millions of people going to Mars so you are amortising the asset over many trips and all the business terms of depreciation and fuel costs, it actually pencils out to about US$200,000 round trip. So this … is roughly the cost of an average home in America,” Jurvetson told CNBC in a TV interview at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki.

The average house price in the U.S. is US$191,200, according to Zillow, an online property site.

SpaceX is currently valued around US$12 billion, according to various reports, and Jurvetson said it could become significantly bigger.

“It’s already billions, and some have posited could it become the first trillion dollar company? I think that will only happen if they somehow capitalise the whole Martian economy but I am comfortable saying tens of billions of dollars and eventually hundreds of billions is the current opportunity on the table,” Jurvetson told CNBC.