How do I design a spaceship?

If this is what Elon Musk’s Mars spaceship will look like on the inside, we can’t wait to climb aboard

spacex elon musk mars windowsSpaceX’s rendering of its Mars spaceship’s common area.Elon Musk/SpaceX

On September 27, Elon Musk laid out his audacious plan to launch a million people to Mars at $200,000 a ticket and save humanity from certain death on Earth.

But in sharing detailed images of giant rockets, spaceships, fuel pods, and other crucial components of his Interplanetary Transportation System (ITS), Musk left out some important stuff, including where he plans to fit 100 to 200 passengers on each trip to the red planet.

Musk logged onto Reddit on Sunday to answer questions his most discerning fans during an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session, but he punted on a question about the design of living quarters:

“Will aim to release details of the habitation section when we have actual live mockups. Maybe in a year or two,” Musk wrote.

In the vacuum of information, architectural student Philip Lütken (who goes by user Next-Lvl) designed a concept for the spaceship’s interior himself.

“This is for when the system has become 100% reliable and cheap enough for almost everyone to take the 80 day trip to the red planet,” Lütken wrote, to the delight of fellow Redditors. “This should feel more like a cruise ship than a nuclear submarine.”

Here are Lütken’s intricate renderings of the ITS spaceship’s living quarters, which he gave Business Insider permission to republish, following some basic information about SpaceX’s hypothetical vessel itself.

View As: One Page Slides

To give a sense of scale, here’s how big Elon Musk envisions his Mars rocket, plus the spaceship on top.

Source: Business Insider

This is a cutaway of just the spaceship, which Musk prefers to call the “Big F***ing Spaceship.” It would stand more than 160 feet tall — halfway up the Statue of Liberty.

And here’s a zoomed-in view of the habitable section, including a cargo hold at the bottom.

A fly-through of the habitable section starts in the cargo hold, zips up through the living quarters, and ends in the giant-windowed common area. The interior is pretty much a blank slate.

Source: Business Insider

So Lütken decided to take a crack at it. He measured out each part of the habitable section and figured out how to fit at least 100 people — which Musk says is necessary to hit $200,000 per one-way ticket.

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

“Looking at the released images from SpaceX I have assumed that two of the decks in the ITS will be reserved for living/sleeping,” Lütken wrote. “In the end I think capsules are the superior solution compared to few rooms with bunk beds.”

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

“The flower like design is a result of angling the capsule entrance to increase the hatch width.”

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

“The capsules have a downside in mass, but they give you a private space, which is something that will be a necessity when common people begin to take the trip to mars.”

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

“When designing this I always had in mind that it had to be usable on both Mars and in [zero gravity]. That’s why it may look a bit conventional.”

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

“The beds were thought of as the seat/mattress for the Launch and Re-Entry (with an added harness of course)[.]”

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

“Perhaps the whole capsules could also be designed to be taken apart and [rebuilt] on the surface of [M]ars and serve as the habitat for the people staying!”

Source: Reddit (r/SpaceX)

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