Elon Musk Says Humans Could Be on Mars in 10 Years

And living in a permanent Martian colony in 50 years
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2016 5:53 PM CDT
Elon Musk Is Already Planning Toilets for His Mars Colony
SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz)

Human's have two choices: "become a spacefaring species" or perish in an "extinction event on Earth," Elon Musk said Tuesday during the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico while laying out his plan to colonize Mars. Here's what you need to know about the SpaceX founder's plan for the future of humanity:

  • Vox calls Tuesday's announcement Musk's "most impassioned and detailed case for space colonization yet" and takes readers through his step-by-step process for getting people to Mars.
  • Musk estimates that with current methods, it would cost $10 billion to get a single person to Mars, Engadget reports. He hopes to get that down to $200,000 through reusable spaceship parts and in-orbit refueling.
  • As for how to fund his plan to colonize Mars, Musk referred to a South Park joke with a slide that started with the first step of "Steal Underpants" and ended with a final step of "Profit," according to the Verge.
  • "It would be an incredible adventure," the Atlantic quotes Musk on his reason for doing this. "Life needs to be more than solving problems every day. You need to wake up and be inspired.”
  • The Wall Street Journal reports Musk has placed himself in direct competition with NASA, which hopes to send astronauts to Mars around 2035. Musk says he may be able to do it within the next decade.
  • His timetable also calls for a permanent colony on Mars within the next 50 to 150 years, according to CNN.
  • In terms of the nitty-gritty of a colony on the red planet, CNET reports Musk says he's working on Martian toilets and a potentially nuclear-powered sewage system.
  • The Independent isn't taking an exactly sunny view of Musk's announcement, writing: "[He] plans to send people to die on Mars so that his private space company can colonize it." Musk himself admits that "the risk of fatality will be very high" in the beginning.
  • And Mars is indeed just the beginning. Musk revealed hopes to one day send people to Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus, Jupiter's moon Europa, and beyond, Gizmodo reports.
(More Elon Musk stories.)

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