Elon Musk wants to visit space by 2021, send people to Mars by 2025

elon musk wants to travel space by 2021 elonmuskpic2
Invest Hong Kong / YouTube
Speaking at the 2016 Startmeup Hong Kong Venture Forum this week, SpaceX’s Elon Musk (aka the real-life Tony Stark) shared the details on a number of his ongoing ideas and projects, including when he’d like to travel to the International Space Station. After serving up an answer of “maybe four or five years from now,” Musk’s interviewer was rightfully caught off guard, however, it was what he shared next about SpaceX’s mission to Mars that really put the jaws of those in attendance on the floor. According to Musk, the Hawthorne, California-based aerospace company plans on sending astronauts to the red planet in just nine years.

You read that correctly; nine years.

While his answer certainly stunned the attending crowd, Musk himself was far less concerned with the relatively small window, saying, “well, nine years, seems like a long time to me.” Though his nonchalance aroused a laugh, a video of the event published to YouTube shows just how serious Musk is in his assessment. Moreover, the SpaceX CEO elaborated on why Mars is so important to humankind, saying the decision to travel to Mars comes down to one fundamental question: what kind of future is more desirable?

“Do we want a future where we are forever confined to one planet until some eventual extinction event, however far in the future that might occur,” Musk says during the interview. “Or do we want to become a multi-fantasy species and then ultimately be out there among the stars, and be among many planets, many star systems. I think the latter is a far more exciting and inspiring future than the former.”

Falcon 9 Orbcomm 2 launch on December 28, 2015
Falcon 9 Orbcomm 2 launch on December 28, 2015 SpaceX

Musk essentially doubles down on this assessment, calling Mars not only the “next natural step” in mankind’s inevitable odyssey into the cosmos, but also that it’s the only planet anyone has a real chance at creating a self-sustaining colony on. In his eyes, once a colony is established on Mars, the advancement of space travel will likely snowball and open up the possibility of forming additional settlements within the confines of our solar system and beyond. Though Musk laughed off the prospect of wanting to go to Mars as a sort of backup plan or exit strategy, the mogul did offer up two separate reasons as to why Mars is important.

“So there’s the defensive reason of protecting the future of humanity and ensuring the line of consciousness is not extinguished should calamity befall Earth,” Musk says. “But, personally I find what gets me more excited is the fact that this would be an incredible adventure. Really, the greatest adventure ever. It would be exciting and inspiring, and there need to be things that excite and inspire people and be reasons why you get up in the morning, you can’t just be solving problems. It’s gotta be ‘yeah, something great’s gonna happen in the future.'”

Dragon capsule testing on May 18, 2015
Dragon capsule testing on May 18, 2015 SpaceX

To show just how SpaceX plans to deliver on these seemingly mountainous goals, Musk says he plans on sharing the architecture of the company’s next phase of rockets, as well as a detailed mission to Mars, at this year’s International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. During the event, it’s likely Musk reveals more about the testing done with SpaceX’s Dragon capsule (seen above), as well as any advancements made with its Mars Colonial Transporter program. As far as more information about what the CEO is doing to prepare for his eventual trip to space? According to him, the journey won’t be that difficult.

“I don’t think it’s that hard, honestly,” Musk says in response to the interviewer asking how he’s prepping for the “ultimate flight” of his life. “I mean, you just float around. It’s not that hard to float around.”

His response on space travel notwithstanding, it seems there’s nothing on our planet or the next that would ever scare Elon Musk away from continuing to do what he does best; persistent and revolutionary innovation.

Cars

Starman on Tesla Roadster makes first orbit around sun, braces for loneliness

Starman and his Tesla Roadster, sent by SpaceX to outer space last year, have completed their first orbit around the sun. The people on Earth may be able to catch a glimpse of the cherry-red electric vehicle on November 2020.
Movies & TV

Skip the sunshine this summer and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Here are the best shows on Netflix right now (August 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
News

Tesla Model 3 traveling on Autopilot explodes twice after hitting a tow truck

The driver of a Tesla Model 3 and his kids are lucky to be alive after the electric sedan rear-ended a parked tow truck, exploded twice, and burned to the ground. The driver told investigators he was using Autopilot at the time of the…
Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.