How will Spacex refuel on Mars

Missing Link: The Starship and the Mars Utopias of Elon Musk

A clip recently made the rounds on Twitter in which Elon Musk, known to be the founder and CEO of SpaceX and with ambitions to colonize Mars, quoted the world-famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan in an interview. In the book "Blauer Punkt im All", Sagan commented on the image of the pixel-sized earth that was taken by the space probe Voyager 1 from a distance of 6 billion kilometers and was taken at his suggestion:

Look at that blue point again. This is where we live. Here we are at home. Everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you have ever heard of, everyone who ever existed has lived here. Here we live through all of our joy, all of our suffering. Thousands of religions, ideologies and economic theories, every hunter and gatherer, every hero and every weakling, every creator and destroyer, king and farmer, every young couple in love, mother and father, every aspiring child, every inventor and discoverer, every moral preacher, everyone corrupt politicians, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species came from here - from that speck of dust floating in a ray of sunshine.

[...]

Our planet is just a lonely point in a great, all-encompassing cosmic darkness. In our being lost in all this vastness, it doesn't look like one day help will come from somewhere to protect us from ourselves.

The earth is the only known world that has life. There is no other world our species could migrate to - at least not in the near future.

Musk ends, laughs and immediately counteracts what has just been read with the words:

That is not true. This is wrong. Mars

The young moderator Lex Fridman is still trying to save the situation by adding that Sagan would have agreed to this nowadays and that at that time (the quote is from 1994!) He could not have imagined going to Mars. This is absurd where Wernher von Braun dreamed of an astronautical flight to Mars as early as the 1950s / 1960s and designed the Nova rocket series, which would be the successor to the Saturn V moon rocket with two to four times the payload to Mars at the end of the 1970s should break up. Finally, Fridman thanks Musk for making the dream of a flight to Mars a reality.

That's how Elon Musk is known. No challenge seems absurd enough to him that he would not face it. Admittedly, he got pretty far with it, but does it go as far as Mars?

With the Starship to Mars

In fact, Musk's company SpaceX is working flat out on the "Starship", a 50-meter-high and 9-meter-wide rocket that could set off for Mars in the second half of the decade if Musk's plans were to go ahead. At a time when NASA could realistically only just return to the moon - possibly with a modified Starship as a lunar module, because SpaceX is one of three bidders for the lunar module of the Artemis project.

The Starship will not be able to reach space on its own, however, it will rather be the second stage on a booster known as "Super Heavy", the first prototype of which is expected to be completed soon. With a height of 122 meters, the rocket, which combines the two elements, is supposed to be 11 meters higher than the Saturn V and, with a payload of 140 tons, will be able to lift 10 tons more than it into orbit.