Elon Musk: First Mars trip would end in death
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the first trip to Mars is a dangerous that would end with the death.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, once said: “Mars is there, waiting to be reached.”
If Elon Musk has his way, he will be the one to reach it, even if it is probably on a dangerous journey that would result in the loss of human life.
Speaking at the South by South West festival in Austin, Texas, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk said he foresees test flights of his Mars spaceship next year, although he warned first travel would end in death.
“For the beginning of the people who go to Mars, it is much more dangerous. It reads like (Ernest) Shackleton’s ad for the Antarctic explorers: Difficult, dangerous, chances are that you will die,” Musk said. “Excitement for the ones that survive.”
A man who is known for his ability to make absurd deadlines, and then not comply, Musk admitted that his plan to do “short-haul flights, up and down flights [Mars], some time in the first half of next year” was a bit optimistic. “Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know…” he said to laughter, before trailing off, according to the BBC.
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The carrier is expected to eventually to the Red Planet is the BFR-missile system. According to the website of the company, the BFR will be an updated design over the current Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon, with a single system with a booster and a ship.
During the question-and-answer session at SXSW, the Austin’s, Musk talked about the type of society that he expects march to be a success.
“I think that most probably the shape of the government on Mars would be a direct democracy, where people vote directly on issues,” he said, in comments obtained by the BBC. “Everyone votes on every issue and that is how it goes.”
He also expects that a colony on Mars, to help ensure the survival of the human race, and raises problems such as another world war, saying that it is “unlikely” there would not be another.
Musk, 46, also showed excitement for the industry on Mars, with the emphasis of companies such as pizza joints, and even making a joke about people drinking on a Mars Bar.
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Plans to go to Mars
By 2022, SpaceX, hopes that the BFR to Mars, where the first mission is “to confirm water resources and the identification of hazards, together with the places of initial power, mining and life support infrastructure.”
The company has previously said a second mission planned for 2024, would “the primary objectives of the construction of a fuel depot and the preparation for future crewed flights,” designed to eventually build a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.
The company, which increased by an additional amount of $450 million in venture capital, according to a SEC filing, is now valued at $21.5 billion, primarily as a result of its advanced reusable rocket technology and its quest to get to Mars.
Musk’s comments follow a string of recent successes for SpaceX, especially in the last month for the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia