SpaceX boss Elon Musk maps out 'Mars colony' plans just weeks after rocket explosion

SpaceX makes plans to take hundreds of people to Mars

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk made the announcement in a speech (Getty)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Just weeks after one of his company's rockets exploded at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX boss Elon Musk has mapped out plans to start a colony on Mars within 10 years.

Musk, speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, said progress has been made on plans for the Interplanetary Transport System, a spaceship which will take at least 100 people to Mars on each flight.

Musk pledged to plough more money into the system, saying it could help him fulfill a long-term vision of putting humanity on different planets.

Musk's system involves a reusable booster which will launch the SpaceX craft into a low-Earth orbit. Once the spacecraft is in this orbit, later booster launchers of tanker vehicles will propel it to Mars.

The craft will be 400 feet high, making it the largest spaceflight system ever built, according to Musk.

He claimed it is possible the first spaceship test could happen in four years, with booster tests after that. He hopes the first crewed mission will launch in 2024, landing on Mars in 2025, but admitted that is optimistic.  

Musk was speaking just days after the rocket engine was test-fired successfully for the first time. However his comments also come in the wake of the explosion of a SpaceX rocket at Cape Canaveral. It is believed the rocket exploded due to a helium system breach.