I know mars colonization is a hot topic these days, and there are a lot of threads on this topic, but I would like to discuss specifically the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System. There's a video on the subject here. On a recent thread that I posted here, some people came to the conclusion that mars colonization probably won't be happening within the next 50 years or so, and I agree with most of the arguments. But also, I've found SpaceX's plans of sending humans to mars as early as 2024 quite interesting, especially because the mission ultimate goal is to build a reliable and viable way of travelling to the red planet, so as to enable mars colonization. Also, it's indeed a very ambitious mission, since NASA is planning of sending humans to mars only on the 2030's. The 2024 mission consists, basically, of a reusable ITS (for Interplanetary Transport System) Booster whose task is to send both the Interplanetary Spaceship and the ITS Tanker to Earth orbit. The Interplanetary Spaceship will be fueled on orbit by the ITS Tanker, and then the crew and cargo will travel to mars. Looks like SpaceX plans to build a propellant plant on Mars so as to decrease the cost of spaceflight back to Earth. However, I don't know if SpaceX addressed to the problem of the astronauts being exposed to radiation during the flight to mars. Do you think SpaceX plans are too ambitious? 2024 is only eight years away, and besides SpaceX having already developed some of the technologies that will be used on the ITS (like the reusable rockets and the vertical controlled landing) it is still a daunting task. And with such a system, could a small mars colony (with a small crew, something like the ISS) be a possibility within the next decades? I know that there are a lot of problems related to a permanent colony like this (food, water, radiation...) but with the costs of transport being reduced, maybe more funding would appear and more research would be done on these areas.