by McIntosh | September 28, 2016 1:30 am
Tesla CEO and SpaceX chief Elon Musk has unwrapped his most aspiring project yet – an ‘interplanetary transport system’ to take human beings to Mars in just 80 days and build a sustainable human colony of about a million people there.
Sounds crazy, right? Well this is how the dreamers start…until their dreams become realities.
While speaking at an International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, Musk said ‘What I want to achieve is make Mars seem possible, to show that we can do it in our lifetimes, and you could go’.
However, he threw a major caveat to this amazing feat…he warned the trip was likely to be dicey – and said candidates that volunteered for the first missions ‘must be prepared to die’.
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‘I think the first journeys to Mars will be really very dangerous, the risk of fatality will be high. There’s just no way around it. Are you prepared to die? If that’s okay, then you’re a candidate for going,’ he added.
But just because Musk is an avid space nerd and he would love to see Mars some day, that day wasn’t going to be anytime soon: ‘The risk of death would be quite high and I’d like to watch my kids grow up.’
Although he did reveal that he would take the trip – one day.
‘I’d definitely like to go to orbit, visit the space station and ultimately go to Mars, I’d need to make sure if something goes wrong there’s a succession plan in place – investors taking over the company would be my biggest fear. This is less about who goes there first. The thing that really matters is making a self-sustaining civilization on Mars as fast as possible. This is different than Apollo. This is really about minimizing existential risk and having a tremendous sense of adventure,’ he said.
Musk spoke about a Star Wars-like fleet of large ‘megashuttles’ that would take 100 people at a time to Mars for $200,000 a trip, after that he went into doomsday mode: ‘Eventually history suggests there will be some extinction event on Earth’.
‘One path is we stay on earth forever and there will be some eventual extinction event. I don’t have a doomsday prophesy, the other is to become a space-faring and mutiplanetary species, which I think some would say is the right way to go – that’s what we want’.
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