8 high-tech innovations that will put humans on Mars

From interplanetary ships to humanoid robots, these are the technologies that will help establish the first human colony on Mars.

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A concept illustration of SpaceX's proposed interplanetary spaceship. A concept illustration of SpaceX's proposed interplanetary spaceship. (Photo: SpaceX)

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Interplanetary ships

Both NASA and SpaceX are currently developing interplanetary ships to shuttle astronauts and supplies from Earth to Mars.

In 2016, SpaceX presented details on their as-yet-unnamed carbon-fiber ship propelled by nine Raptor engines. Spanning a length of 162 feet, the vessel would be capable of transporting 450 tons of cargo and passengers per trip to Mars. Because the entire ship would land on Mars, it would also double as the first human habitat on the red planet.

Depending on how closely the orbits of Earth and Mars are lined up, the trip would only take 80 days to complete. Once the design is proven, SpaceX expects to send 1,000 or more of the ships to the red planet every 26 months.

"The Mars colonial fleet would depart en masse," added founder Elon Musk.

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