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SpaceX的火星梦:人类殖民红色星球

更新时间:2016-9-30 10:24:28 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Elon Musk’s Plan: Get Humans to Mars, and Beyond
SpaceX的火星梦:人类殖民红色星球

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Elon Musk’s plans to get to Mars start with a really big rocket. He still needs to figure out how to pay for it.

墨西哥瓜达拉哈拉——埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)的火星登陆计划以一枚超级大的火箭为起点。他目前尚需想出为它买单的办法。

For years, Musk, the billionaire founder of the SpaceX rocket company, has been offering hints and teases of his desire to colonize the big red planet.

多年来,拥有亿万身家的SpaceX火箭公司创始人马斯克一直通过各种暗示和愿景来表达殖民这颗巨型红色星球的愿望,挑逗公众的神经。

In a talk on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress here, Musk finally provided engineering details, optimistic timelines and a slick video.

周二,马斯克参加了在这里举办的国际宇航大会(International Astronautical Congress),他在发言中终于公布了技术细节、颇为乐观的日程表,以及一段精美的视频。

“What you saw there is very close to what we’ll actually build,” Musk said, referring to the rockets and spacecraft in the video.

“你在这里看到的东西和我们将要实际打造的东西十分接近,”马斯克说。他指的是视频里的火箭和宇宙飞船。

Musk estimated it would cost $10 billion to develop the rocket, and he said the first passengers to Mars could take off as soon as 2024 if the plans went off without a hitch. For now, SpaceX is financing development costs of a few tens of millions of dollars a year, but eventually the company would look to some kind of public-private partnership.

据马斯克估计,研制火箭将耗费100亿美元的资金。他还说,如果相关计划进行得很顺利,前往火星的第一批乘客在2024年便可成行。目前,SpaceX一年要负担几千万美元的研发成本,但该公司最终将会寻求建立某种公私合作伙伴关系。

Each of the SpaceX vehicles would take 100 passengers on the journey to Mars, with trips planned every 26 months, when Earth and Mars pass close to each other. Tickets per person might cost $500,000 at first, and drop to about a third of that later on, Musk said.

每艘SpaceX的太空船可以携带100名旅客前往火星,计划是每隔26个月发送一艘飞船——这是地球和火星公转到距离最近的位置所需要的时间。马斯克表示,一开始,每个人的费用要50万美元,但是渐渐会降到这个数字的大约1/3水平。

To establish a self-sustaining Mars civilization of a million people would take 10,000 flights, with many more to ferry equipment and supplies.

为了建立一个自给自足、拥有100万人口的火星文明,需要一万次这样的飞行,此外还有更多货运飞行,用来运送设备和补给。

“We’re going to need something quite large to do that,” Musk said.

“我们会需要一个很大的机构来做这件事,”马斯克说。

Musk has talked of his “Mars Colonial Transporter,” but a couple of weeks ago, he suggested that its capabilities would be much greater.

马斯克曾经谈起过他的“火星殖民运输系统”(Mars Colonial Transporter),但几个星期前,他说它的性能应该更加强大。

He now calls it the Interplanetary Transport System. The booster would include 42 of SpaceX’s new, more powerful Raptor engines.

如今他将之称为“行星际运输系统”( Interplanetary Transport System)。SpaceX新研制的更为强大的“猛禽”(Raptor)火箭引擎可能也为他提供了强心剂。

What is less clear is how SpaceX will raise the money needed to bring its Mars dreams to fruition.

目前尚不清楚的是,为了让它的火星梦开花结果,SpaceX怎样才能募集到所需的经费。

Scott Pace, a former NASA official who is the director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said Musk’s vision was plausible technically, but added, “Other than emotional appeal, however, it didn’t really address why governments, corporations or other organizations would fund the effort.” His bottom-line opinion: “Possible, but not probable.”

前NASA官员斯科特·佩斯(Scott Pace)是乔治·华盛顿大学空间政策学院的院长,他说马斯克的设想在技术上是可行的,但他补充说,“除了诉诸感情,这个计划无法说动任何政府、公司或其他组织提供赞助。”他的根本观点是:“有可能,但不是特别有可能。”

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