Wang Xiaojun, head of the state-owned China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT)has announced that the country is currently working on a “sky ladder”, according to Chinese state-owned media Global Times.
The “sky ladder” is essentially a delivery system made of carbon nanotubes which are strong and minuscule carbon atom filaments.
This “sky ladder” will not only beam humans and cargo up to space stations but it will do so at 4% of the current cost, the report says.
Wang expressed that China aims to put a man on Mars as soon as 2033.
While he did not explain how it is this “sky ladder” will help in transporting humans and cargo to the red planet, he was clear that this piece of technology which is still in the works would be instrumental in future voyages to Mars.
According to the Independent, China’s goals go beyond simply transporting people and cargo to space stations, and then to Mars. This mission comprises a three-step plan, the first of which involves androids launched into space to retrieve samples of Mars and to seek out a suitable location for a Mars base site. Wang Xiaojun said as much at the Global Space Exploration Conference, as reported by the Global Times.
The next phase of the plan entails a manned Mars mission to develop the base site, while the third stage will be transporting cargo fleets from Earth to Mars. The idea is to create a community on the planet. It is expected that these launches will be scheduled every two years between 2033 and 2043.
The fourth stage is where the aforementioned “sky ladder” gets introduced as it is expected to reduce the cost and time spent taking on this ambitious mission to the red planet. As of now, it is unclear how near the “sky ladder” is to completion.
This is not China’s first time making noise with talk of a “sky ladder.” Chinese artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, a man known to “paint” with explosives, introduced the world to his“sky ladder” (a 1650 ft ladder made of fire) in 2016. The artist creates “gunpowder paintings” by detonating large trails of it on paper. He was featured in CNN Style’s inaugural TV show, and was the subject of a documentary titled “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang”. Cai’s work is not to be confused with the “sky ladder” currently being developed by the country to aid in their future voyages to Mars.
Should China colonise Mars and implement this innovative technology, it will mark the second time the Chinese stun the world with an elaborate “sky ladder”.