Elon Musk: Human Travel To Mars Happening In Under 10 Years

Published June 2, 2016
Published June 2, 2016
Elon Musk Dragon Spacex

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Elon Musk doesn’t shoot for the moon; he shoots for Mars. And he hopes to bring people there in under ten years.

On Wednesday night at Vox Media’s Code Conference, the SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO said that starting in 2018, he will send a mission to Mars via the Flying Dragon version 2 (V2) rocket.

This rocket “is intended to carry astronauts to the International Space Station,” Musk said, but will also be “[sent] to Mars in 2018.”

If this works out, Musk wants to start bringing people to Mars. “If things go according to plan, we should be able to…launch people in 2024, with arrival in 2025,” Musk said.

But they won’t necessarily be arriving on the Dragon V2, Musk said. While the Tesla CEO says that the Dragon V2 will “be…very big,” he admits that since it “has the interior volume of a large SUV” and the trip will take six months, it’s “probably not ideal” for humans.

Perhaps more importantly, Musk added that travel to Mars on the V2 will be a one-way trip. “It also does not have the capability to get back to Earth,” he said. “We put that in the fine print!”

Between 2018 and 2024, Musk says SpaceX’s plan is to establish “cargo flights to Mars that people can count on” before they launch a bigger spacecraft with people on board.

Human travel to Mars has been a project of Musk’s since at least 2014, CNN reported, and he plans on sharing his architectural plan for colonization of Mars this September.

For Musk — who has stated previously that he wants to die on Mars — colonization isn’t about replacing Earth, but about expanding the possibilities of what our world can look like.

“I believe it’s important to the future, ultimately [to] be out there among the stars,” Musk said, “It’s not being a single planet species and moving planets, it’s about being a multi-planet species and have life extend beyond the solar system and ultimately to other star systems. That’s the future that’s exciting.”

Next, read about how far away we are from time travel, and Stephen Hawking’s $100 million plan to look for aliens.