Earlier this week, Elon Musk said there’s a “good chance” settlers in the first Mars missions will die. And while that’s easy to imagine, he and others are working hard to plan and minimize the risk of death by hardship or accident. In fact, the goal is to have people comfortably die on Mars after a long life of work and play that, we hope, looks at least a little like life on Earth.
According to CNBC, during a virtual ‘Humans to Mars’ conference on Monday, 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.”
“We are going to go to the moon, we are going to have a base on the moon, we are going to send people to mars and make life multi-planetary. This day heralds a new age of space exploration” — @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/rdTj0td18V
— Starman (@RealLifeStarman) August 3, 2020
Musk made the Starship SpaceX’s priority earlier this year and he said big strides have been made, however, there is a lot to do yet before people will be sent Mars-wards.
He said: “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.”