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A city on Mars? Elon Musk and SpaceX say absolutely

Tired of your time on Earth? Elon Musk may have a solution. The ambitious SpaceX founder and CEO is known for his — literally — out-of-this-world ideas, and the latest is a city on Mars. In a surprise appearance at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center last week, the entrepreneur laid bare his plans to colonize the Red Planet. Well, not completely. Rather, Musk teased the existence of a full-blown plan, which he will elucidate upon further in September, when he gives a much-anticipated talk at the International Aeronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, in September.

While Musk’s initial topic of discussion centered around rockets and his Falcon 9, things took an interesting turn toward the end of his press conference, during which he spoke about the possibility of a SpaceX “City on Mars.” Musk is known for being well ahead of the curve when it comes to many of his concepts, a point he referenced during the discussion. “I think it’s going to sound pretty crazy,” Musk told the audience. “So it should be at least entertaining.”

To many, Mars seems like the next logical frontier — a new sort of Manifest Destiny for earthlings to conquer. “It’s a fundamental decision we have to make as a civilization,” Musk recently told a reporter in Hong Kong. “Mars is the next, natural step. In fact, it’s the only planet we really have a shot at establishing a self-sustaining city on.” That said, this is all mostly talk — at least until September.

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But as far as how we’re going to get to Mars, Musk certainly seems to have figured it out. Reusable rockets, the executive says, are the key to future space travel. Calling reusability the “fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space,” Musk has certainly proven the viability of his designs. He’s met with quite a bit of success in his latest rocket launches and landings, and with a track record like his, a city on Mars may not be that crazy of an idea after all.