Billionaire Elon Musk announces plan to colonise Mars

Billionaire Elon Musk has unveiled plans that he says could allow his SpaceX company to colonise Mars.

Musk hopes he can land at least two cargo ships on the planet by 2022 by using a rocket that will able to take humans anywhere on earth within an hour.

The tech entrepreneur announced his plans at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide.

"I feel fairly confident we can build the ship and be ready for the launch in five years. Five years seems like a long time for me," said the SpaceX chief executive, who also revealed plans for a lunar base.

The cargo ships having placed power, mining and life-support infrastructure, allowing humans to land on the Red Planet in 2024, which would start the colonisation that could eventually see one million people live on Mars.

There is a plan to colonise Mars. Credit: SpaceX

Currently SpaceX has three style of spacecrafts, which will become obsolete if the Tesla boss has his way.

The company will put all of its resources into building the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) - codenamed BFR (Big F****** Rocket).

A video showing the spacecraft's potential journey between New York and Shanghai has been released, explaining the speed at which it will travel.

"BFR will take you anywhere on Earth in less than 60 mins," Mr Musk wrote on Twitter. The video added that "most long-distance trips" would take less than 30 minutes.

  • Musk shows off the spacecraft

SpaceX plan to start building the first spaceship by the middle of 2018, as Musk confirmed it will be the cheapest yet.

The ITS will be able to carry around 100 people over 40 cabins, and it will also include common areas and an entertainment system.

Musk showed off images of the spacecraft on Mars, stating he wanted to make the Red Planet "a nice place to be" with a sustainable human population of one million.

"I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars," he said.