SpaceX will send humans to Mars within 10 to 20 years, according to an interview with its CEO in the Wall Street Journal. Elon Musk says his company will send people to space within three years, and he wants to colonize other planets next.
"I want SpaceX to help make life multi-planetary," he said. "We're going all the way to Mars, I think. Best case, 10 years, worst case, 15 to 20 years."
In an interview with the Journal's Alan Murray, Musk said he wants humans to build a self-sustaining base on Mars.
"A future when humanity is a spacefaring civilization, out there exploring the stars, is an incredibly exciting future," he said.
The majority of the interview focuses on Tesla Motors' efforts and the state of electric cars in the U.S., including price and availability and the problem of charging the vehicles. But Musk's pronouncements about space colonization are far juicier, in our opinion.
He said SpaceX would be the transportation provider, not necessarily the colony-builder.
"We want to be like the shipping company that brought people from Europe to America, or like the Union Pacific railroad. Our goal is to facilitate the transfer of people and cargo to other planets, and then it's going to be up to people if they want to go," he said.
Along with developing several successful heavy-lift rockets for cargo, SpaceX aims to send astronauts to space for NASA and other clients. Last week, the company won a $75 million contract from NASA to make its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule ready for humans. Sierra Nevada, Boeing and Blue Origin also won contracts to build capsules.
Last year, SpaceX became the first to launch a private spaceship into orbit and bring it home.
isn't that what we were told 10- 20 years ago?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever.
@-my name here- That was from former Pres. Bush. The reason why we aren't there now is mostly no polition gave NASA a goal after JFK said he wanted people to the moon with in the 60s
Howard Hughes was a very wealthy pioneer who advanced aviation when it was in its infancy. I think in a similar way that Elon Musk is a pioneer in Rockets and private space exploration. You need someone with a vision and deep pockets and he seems to have both. He may or may not pull this off, but at least he is dreaming and moving us in the right direction. Rocket on Mr. Musk.
I always said commercializing the space program will get us mining the moon and to Mars a lot faster than waiting for a government bureaucracy that will cost trillions of dollars. As a partner with NASA, I think Elon Musk will do what he said, taking us where no human has every gone before.
That video was mostly about the cars (I like the cars but not for something about space). Popsci why did you out this video in here?
I can not think of a better person to put in charge of building a transportation system to get to Mars than Elon Musk.
There are other things to be done for a project like this so lets include:
Robert Bigelow for the habitation modules and life support.
Sir Richard Branson and Elbert Rutan for building the specialty landing and ascent craft for Mars.
Donald Trump to see that the project keeps moving forward in a smooth and timely manner.
On the bright side, nuclear fusion power is only 10 years away.
@matsci1 Donald Trump should select Little John for project manager.
Hopefully the VASMIR will be ready by 2020
Humans are already living in the underground MEPI base on Mars (Mars Experimental Planetary Institute)..
Remote viewing the front cover of the book "An Alien Harvest" shows the famous right-angle folding-space turn made by a spacecraft piloted by a Martian taking an MJ-12 operative to the base. The purpose of the right-angle turn is to gain lift which is obvious from the time-lapse photograph.
Now we know why toilet seats cost $1500 a piece and the new fighter over a trillion dollars! It costs a lot of gold to purchase those anti-gravity warehouse fork-lifts from His Ambassador to Earth. Besides lifting the goods, the gravitational field also pushes the pallet onto the shelf. Pretty neat! Apparently these forklifts have been installed just in time for the mass exodus of the elite from Earth to Mars just before the Ascension.
What's missing in the story is that Dragon's liquud fueled launch abort system doubles as landing thrusters, not being throwaway solid rocket escape towers as with Apollo etc. This is what allows Dragon to land on Earth and other bodies (moon, Mars), hence Musk's comments. None of the other CCDev2 spacecraft have this ability, nor are they capable of beyond Earth orbit operations or of re-entering at those velocities.
hello matsci1...don't know about trump, but SpaceX rocks! to all those idiots that wrote off NASA, SpaceX would not be where they are now without NASA's invaluable help and they will be putting men in space, again, with Nasa's help, probably with NASA astronauts, the future of space exploration is a combination of private enterprise and NASA
While this sounds awesome, I call BS on the "worst case: 20 years" claim. I'd say more around "worst case: 75 years" or something like that. Maybe I'd even be generous enough to give them 50 years. But 20? Doubt it.
-IMP ;) :)
Awesome!!! The private space programs are going to be the future of the space industry
@JohnStClair, just curious as to where you get your information from. I suppse you beleive we are being visited?
Going to Mars or the Moon or just building a better space station -- space hotel are all exciting ideas.
But I think we should try to get our own house in order first. How about let's eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and make sure that everybody on the planet has adequate food, water, shelter, medical care and education.
I get the impression that people want to go to Mars just so they don't have to clean up the mess we've made of Earth.
If we do it your way DemonDuck, then humanity will never get to the stars. We will always have problems here on Earth. Humanity needs to move forward regardless of the problems we have.
Headline should have began "SpaceX CEO says..." My concern with this is you can have the start-up trying to do too much too fast and wind up folding up without accomplishing anything. I would rather see them become successful at launching into orbit before they start pushing to be an interplanetary UPS. Heck, maybe they should get UPS as a sponsor.
DemonDuck what you are saying is something like "we have to wait for the cook, gardener, and builder to fix the problems with the house to the car driver, mechanic, and car degsiner with scientists waiting on them to drive them to a location to study do their jobs" when eveyone can do their thing at the same time. Do you understand just how stupid it is to just wast tie only doing one thing when we can do more.
Keep your eyes on the material known as GRAPHINE. This could be the game changing paradighm shifter we have been waiting for with which to manufature better spacecraft. If its production can become scalable then whole spaceships can enter an exit our atmosphere with little reguard to heat shielding not to mention its low weight to strength ratios.
If SpaceX had said it plans to do a Mars FLYBY in 20 years, I could almost put a grain of truth in it. Colonization, on the other hand, I can only say "keep dreaming". No one has that level of commitment right now-not even China. I hope I'm wrong, I really wish it could happen, but for now I'm as skeptical as anyone else posting a comment might be.
@pioneer10...colonization is a dream, this all starts as dreams...10 to 20 years to put men on mars is feasible, much easier to land on mars than earth, just need the will to do it...colonization would take a very long time if ever, the article never claimed this would happen in 20 years...getting there is just a start
yes we already have a base on mars. we get there back and forth instantaneously by means of teleportation. they have a chair in Montauk that takes you there.
It is simply that I have seen, read & heard "Mars in 10-20 years over the past 45 years-from every source from science magazines & private enterprize to former astronauts & U.S. Presidents-and none have ever come to pass. It is one of those claims I have finally given to the circular file. I hope I'm wrong-but I don't think I am.
I think SpaceX is awesome. Richard Branson has created Virgin Galactic! How cool would it be to establish the first company with 'Galactic' in the title. Getting private industry in the space business will make it work. Get our government out of the way... no one has ever claimed they have a clue about operating efficiently. Companies that have to show a frickin' profit can make space colonization a reality. AND.. the gravy on it for me is that when we have civi's out in space, with HD cameras whirring.... there will be no censoring of what they see. SO, if there is something out there that is not us... we will get to see it. Unlike what is going on with our current situation. VERY AWESOME.