After saying that the chances of us not being a computer simulation is just one in billions, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, went on to say that SpaceX will be sending people to Mars by 2024, with arrival planned for 2025.
When asked about what he thinks the government on Mars will be, he playfully joked: “Well I think I was just declared king of Mars a moment ago.”
Although Musk has failed in some of his own self-imposed deadlines before, he is confident in his timeline for the Mars mission, and announced such at the Code Conference last Wednesday night.
Musk asserts that SpaceX’s Dragon Version 2 spacecraft will be sent to Mars in 2018, a mission that is supported by NASA, which aims to test (and ultimately demonstrate) the capsule’s capabilities, solidifying its ability to reach distant locations within the Solar System before launching a larger spacecraft.
To clarify, the Dragon Version 2 is not what SpaceX will be using to transport people to Mars.
Musk describes the Dragon Version 2, noting that it “has the interior volume of a large SUV.” Obviously, it would be a little cramped, to say the least, to spend 6 months traveling in a craft that is roughly the size of an SUV. To that end, it is not ideal for taking humans to Mars.
“It also does not have the capability to get back to Earth,” Musk said. “We put that in the fine print!”
“I think there are two main motivations for Mars. I mean, one is, is the sort of defensive reason of saying, OK, if something were to happen to Earth, does life as we know it end?” He adds: “A multiplanet civilization is likely to last a lot longer than a single planet civilization. The other part of it is it would just be an incredible adventure.”
He continues, saying that it would be one of those feats humanity accomplishes to serve as inspiration: “I do think it’s important that we have things inspire us. It can’t just be about solving you know miserable problems all the time, because why get up in the morning?”