Elon Musk wants to make us Martians. The SpaceX, Solar City, Tesla, and PayPal billionaire just completed an historic landing of the Falcon 9 rocket on SpaceX’s autonomous drone ship just off the East Coast of Florida, but this is just the beginning of the entrepreneur’s bigger plans.
Musk also made a rare appearance at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center recently to drop hints to the press about a larger announcement than his rocket ship’s success: a long-time passion — plans to colonize Mars.
Musk recently told a huge crowd at an annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU):
“Now is the first time in the history of Earth that the window is open, where it’s possible for us to extend life to another planet …
That window may be open for a long time — and hopefully it is — but it also may be open for a short time.
I think the wise move is to make life multiplanetary while we can.”
Musk has been aiming to colonize Mars for several decades. He started SpaceX, in fact, in order to help make that dream a reality.
He says all that is needed is the proper technology; and, of course, Musk can provide rapidly reusable rockets, as well as the ability to produce rocket propellant from local materials on the Red Planet.
He hasn’t ever said why he wants to colonize Mars, other than that people “need something to look forward to when they wake up in the morning,” and that it would be “a great adventure.”
Many speculate about his motivations; but, considering that the fuel to propel one reusable SpaceX rocket only costs $200,000, his idea actually has some grit.
Musk commented on his vision for Mars earlier this year at the Venture Forum in Hong Kong, where he also said he “hoped” to showcase SpaceX’s “architecture” at the 2016 International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Mexico.
“It’s a fundamental decision we have to make as a civilization,” Musk said in Hong Kong. “Mars is the next, natural step. In fact, it’s the only planet we really have a shot at establishing a self-sustaining city on.”
Some claim we have already colonized Mars, in military black budget operations that have been covered up for years by NASA. Musk, however, doesn’t seem to think there are currently any inhabitants on the red planet.
The much anticipated details about Musk’s plans to colonize Mars will be announced at the IAC in Guadalajara, Mexico this September.
Musk said he realizes that his plans will ‘sound pretty crazy’ — but for a man who just pre-sold 276,000 Tesla Model 3 electric cars in hours, as well as landed a 14-story recyclable rocket on a ship in the ocean, nothing is out of the question.
Aside from Mars, others have asked Musk what additional places in the solar system would be good to explore. Some have specifically inquired about Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa.
“There should definitely be a science mission,” Musk said.