Musk eyes a move to Mars
Despite a high likelihood of dying even before arriving and daily conditions hostile to human life, Elon Musk said in a recent interview that he’ll probably move to Mars.
The SpaceX and former Tesla chief executive said there’s a ‘‘70 per cent chance’’ he’ll get to Mars within his lifetime, with plans to permanently resettle on the Red Planet. Musk said his desire to colonise Mars is driven by the same passion that fuels people to climb mountains – for the challenge.
‘‘We’ve recently made a number of breakthroughs that I am just really fired up about,’’ Musk said during an interview with Axios on HBO.
Musk’s remarks are the latest in a series of bold announcements that have defined his career in recent years, from his aim to transform the auto industry with electric vehicles made by his company Tesla to the goal of colonising Earth’s neighbouring planet.
SpaceX aspires to send its first cargo mission to Mars in 2022, its website says, with a manned mission targeted for 2024. Musk announced last week that the company has renamed its massive Mars vessel the Starship (previously the Big Falcon Rocket). The rocket boosters that will allow the vehicle to escape Earth’s gravity are called the Super Heavy.
During the interview, Musk compared the proposition to colonise Mars to explorer Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions to Antarctica.
He said the price of a ticket to Mars would be hundreds of thousands of dollars, with no guarantee of return or even survival during the trip or upon landing. But despite the daunting journey, Musk sees a worthwhile trade-off.
‘‘You know there’s lots of people who climb mountains. You know why they climb mountains? People die on Mount Everest all the time,’’ he said.
‘‘They like doing it for the challenge.’’
Earlier this year, SpaceX pledged to advance its space exploration efforts by revealing the identity of its first paying tourist who would take a trip around the moon.
In 2023, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and six to eight artists are tentatively scheduled to fly to the moon on a week-long trip.
Their vehicle, the nearly 400-foot-tall Starship, is still in development and is slated to complete its first flights to orbit in two to three years.
– The Washington Post
Earlier this year Elon Musk fired a Tesla into space. Now he wants to go himself.