But this is Elon Musk that we’re talking about here — he of course has even higher aspirations. Later this year, we’ll get a taste of what SpaceX is cooking up as it aims to go past Earth’s orbit onto a more ambitious destination: Mars. While visiting Hong Kong this week, Musk indicated that he plans to reveal this September preliminary information on SpaceX spacecraft architecture that will take people to Mars.
“That will be quite exciting,” said Musk. “In terms of the first flight to Mars, we are hoping to do that around 2025.”
“In fact, [Mars is] the only planet we have a shot at establishing a self-sustaining city on,” Musk continued. “Once we do establish such a city, there will be strong forcing function for the improvement of space flight technology that will then enable us to establish colonies elsewhere in the solar system and ultimately extend beyond our solar system.”
Elon Musk and President Obama
Musk went on to explain that it’s human nature to want to explore, and not be tied down to one single planet. We’re adventurers are heart, so why not to try to expand out into other habitable planets if we have the technologies and the explorers willing to make the voyage? He goes on to say that “we want to be a multi planet species and ultimately be out there among the stars, among many planets and many star systems.”
I think someone has been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey quite a bit recently.
In September of 2015, Musk dropped by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to talk about inhabiting Mars and discussed warming the planet’s surface to better support human colonies. Musk mentioned that there’s a fast way and a slow way to heat the planet, with the fast way being to “drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles.”
That response prompted Colbert to label Musk as a super villain. Musk would late go on to explain that he didn’t actually want to nuke the surface of Mars, but to create artificial fusion stars above the planet. "What I was talking about was having a series of very large, by our standards, but very small by calamity standards, essentially having two tiny pulsing suns over the poles," Musk explained.
"Then you would gasify frozen carbon dioxide, thicken the atmosphere, and warm up the water and all of that would have a greenhouse effect. Having a cascading effect to continue warming up the planet.”