The poles also harbor other natural resources, like carbon dioxide, iron, aluminum, silicon and sulfur, which could be used to make things like glass, brick and plastic.
These are a special kind of orbit produced when continuous low-thrust propulsion, such as that produced from an ion engine or solar sail, modifies the natural trajectory of a spacecraft.
Earth plants could eventually be grown in Martian soil too, assuming they get enough sunlight and carbon dioxide. The missions would rely on a Saturn V rockets with a nuclear-powered upper stage.
Their specific plan outlines how we would get there, set up camp and create an environment that would be habitable in the long term. However, the Limited Test Ban Treaty of forbade the use of nuclear warheads in space and the project was abandoned. This too would work well when it comes to growing seasons and would provide colonists with a comforting sense of familiarity and a way of measuring out the year.
Based on data obtained by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiterit is also speculated that habitable environments exist underground, making it an even more attractive option. The results of all this may tell us if there was, is or could be life elsewhere. But according to Muskthe most likely scenario at least for the foreseeable future would involve an economy based on real estate.
But eventually, a Martian settlement would be able to become profitable because of its large caches of precious metals and the fact that concentrations of deuterium are five times higher on Mars than Earth, which can be converted into hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel.
While this would involve conducting renewed missions to the lunar surface, the Moon was seen as a stepping stone at this point. Undeterred, Musk took a first step towards his aim in February this year with the launch of a Tesla roadster car into an orbit travelling beyond Mars on the first Falcon Heavy rocket.
The Next Giant Leap starts right here on Earth.