SpaceX has released a new video showing a CG concept of its Interplanetary Transport System, the rocket and spacecraft combo it plans to use to colonize Mars. The video depicts a reusable rocket that can get the interplanetary spacecraft beyond Earth’s orbit, and a craft that uses solar sails to coast on its way to a Mars entry.
The booster returns to Earth after separating from the shuttlecraft to pick up a booster tank full of fuel, which it then returns to orbit to fuel up the waiting spaceship. The booster craft then also returns to Earth under its own power, presumably also for re-use. The solar arrays that the spacecraft employs provide 200 kW of power, according to captions in the video.
This gives us a better idea of how SpaceX and Elon Musk plan to proceed with their goal to colonize Mars, and is the most info we’ve received so far about what a SpaceX Mars voyage would actually look like, but we’ll still need more info (including who’s footing the bill) from the man himself when he delivers a keynote at the International Astronautical Conference a little later on today.