SpaceX is working on the Falcon Heavy, a rocket ready to debut later this year capable of lifting 58 tons of material into Low Earth Orbit, which is about four times the lifting power of the Falcon 9. It's specs are just a few hairs short of NASA's own Space Launch System, the largest rocket since the Saturn V rockets that carried out the Apollo moon landings.
The Spacex Mars plan may include discussion of both a super-heavy rocket as well as starships that could ferry large numbers of people from Earth to Mars, known as the Mars Colonial Transporter.
Nextbigfuture has had a couple of articles about the Elon Musk StartmeupHK talk. We had noted his talk about Mars plans to be revealed later this year but did not focus on the mention of the International Astronautical Conference with specific dates.
Elon talked about reasons for going to Mars.
- There is a defensive reason for becoming multiplanet which is to protect humanity from a single planet extinction event
- Establishing a city on Mars would be a great adventure for humanity
- Mars is where a sustainable city could be established
- Spacex is scheduled to a launch a crew to the space station by the end of 2017