Elon Musk claims that for humanity to survive, we’re going to have to become an interplanetary species. So how, exactly, will we achieve that? SpaceX, a private spaceflight company, released a video on Tuesday that demonstrates how this might be possible.
In the video, SpaceX shows off its idea for an “Interplanetary Transport System” that would be capable of shuttling humans to Mars—and maybe even beyond. The 400-foot-tall system, which includes a rocket booster and spaceship, would take off using 28,730,000 pounds of thrust, and separate in Earth’s orbit.
The spaceship would then hang out in orbit while the booster returns to Earth where it originally took off. A propellant tanker would then be attached to the booster, which would then be used to refuel the spacecraft in orbit so it can go to Mars. While the spaceship is on its way, its solar array would deploy, giving it enough juice to coast to Mars.
Once it arrives on Mars, the spaceship will then land safely on the planet’s surface, giving its occupants the opportunity to colonize the planet. And, if Musk has his way, terraform Mars so it’s more welcoming to life.
You can see the Interplanetary Transport System in action in the video above.