I love SpaceX and what they are doing with rockets and reusability, but their work is also going to exponentially increase the demand for new launches to orbit. If we are ever going to create a self sustaining city on Mars, we are also going to need more and more launches per year in order to provide supplies, materials and new tech. An increased demand of launches for new space Telescopes, internet satellites, new space stations, etc. is also going to arise.

However, if even one single rocket puts so much more Co2 into the atmosphere compared to cars, or even airplanes, and what allowed us to not worry too much thusfar was because of its extremely high cost which in turn repelled demand, how are we going to do all this in a sustainable way?

Surely, rockets and space exploration increase innovation, and innovation is what we ultimately need to also solve problems we have today here on Earth, but aren't we creating even bigger problems in the process?

p.s. How much Co2 the transportation industry (airplanes + cars) releases into the atmosphere yearly? Factories? And big container ships? How are rockets comparing to that? Does someone have some numbers ?

EDIT. How much the demand is realistically going to increase? Can we afford to become a space faring civilization, considering this increase of demand? For example, could we afford to have from 1000 to 5000 launches per year of Starship+SuperHeavyBooster, plus an hypotetical future improvement in reusability and consequent increase of launche rate from China, Russia and EU?

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    $\begingroup$ this Everyday Astronaut video might help you, article version $\endgroup$ May 14, 2021 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ Varies with fuel but hydrogen plus oxygen combust to water ;-) $\endgroup$
    – user39728
    May 14, 2021 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ Short answer: all rocket launches to date comprise a tiny percentage of all man-sourced CO2, air pollutants, and energy release. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2021 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ I think you will be hard-pressed to find any kind of statistics where rockets are even above the noise floor compared to container ships, for example. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2021 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ This question isn't sufficiently similar to the cited link to close it. It is about the future, assuming a rate of launches needed to create a self sustaining city on Mars, where as the other question is about the present. That all said, this post must be clarified to make it more specific, such as specifying an actual rate of launches, say Saturn V equivalent size. I suggest it is turned into two parts, with this site only addressing the demands of a city and thus CO2, NOx and unburned Methane quantities and the outcome being passed to Earth Sciences stack exchange for its climate impact. $\endgroup$
    – Puffin
    May 14, 2021 at 22:21