Elon Musk has big plans to build a city on Mars but has warned that the first people to set it up will probably die, which isn’t a good thing.
A city amongst the stars has always been on the periphery of mankind’s ambitions ever since Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the moon in 1969, and every day it looks more and more possible.
One of the people pushing for humanity to spread its wings into the reaches of the solar system in Elon Musk, who has been running SpaceX since its inception in 2002. Over the last few years, the aerospace company has really ramped up their productivity, teaming up with NASA and traversing the depths of space to set foot on Mars is becoming less of a question of ‘if’ and more of a question of ‘when’.
Musk recently spoke of SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft which he hopes would have the capacity to carry 100 people to Mars. However, during a virtual ‘Humans to Mars’ conference, he explained how the real issue isn’t getting to Mars, but rather setting up camp there.
The 49-year-old said:
“Getting to Mars, I think, is not the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is building a base, building a city on Mars that is self-sustaining.
“We’re going to build a propellant plant, an initial Mars base – Mars Base Alpha – and then get it to the point where it’s self-sustaining.
“I want to emphasise that this is a very hard and dangerous, difficult thing, not for the faint of heart. Good chance you’ll die, it’s going to be tough going, but it will be pretty glorious if it works out“.
Speaking of the progress of actually sending people on their way to Mars, he went on:
“We’re making good progress. The thing that really impedes progress on Starship is the production system… A year ago there was nothing there and now we’ve got quite a lot of production capability. So we’re rapidly making more and more ships.
“We’ve got to first make the thing work, automatically deliver satellites and do hundreds of missions with satellites before we put people on board“.
God. Imagine calling shotgun on that one.