This piece was originally published at GenFKD.org.
The Willy Wonka of Space travel, Elon Musk, laid out his plans for Mars colonization in his presentation “Making Humans a Multi Planetary Species,” at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.
SpaceX intends to recruit many people to build a city on Mars’ surface after a lengthy journey, approximated at 80 days. Getting humans to Mars isn’t an easy task, and Musk admitted that the risk of death for those lucky travelers who decide to take the journey is extremely high.
We’re going to Mars?
Technologically, the specifics of the mission are pretty abstract to anyone who isn’t crazy smart. Basically, the fuel for the journey will be delivered to a space ship through several rocket launches. Amazingly, the return trip will allegedly be powered by fuel that will be made with martian elements.
And it’s not just about traveling to and from Mars — Mister Musk envisions a city of over one million people on Mars. If you’re still thirsty for more information, The Verge does a pretty good job explaining Musk’s vaulting ambitions in a video that can be seen here.
If getting there isn’t hard enough, there’s the stark reality that Mars isn’t exactly fit for human habitation. The average temperature is far into negative territory (Google says it’s -67 degrees, yikes!) Then there’s the small fact that the atmosphere is not, you know, breathable, and you would need a space suit to wander outdoors.
Musk believes that human habitation of other planets would be an insurance policy against the destruction of our species here on Earth.
The once-in-a-generation businessman
There are only a handful of people on Earth who have revolutionized our existence through their inventions. Most people would rest on their laurels once they made billions of dollars and gained international recognition for their work. Musk instead has leveraged his fortune and fame to effervescently push humanity further into the future.
He used the epic amount of cash from the sale of Paypal to form a dizzying number of companies, all of which are extremely futuristic. Beyond Space X and Tesla, Musk has businesses and nonprofit organizations promoting promising technologies like artificial intelligence and solar energy.
You might recall Musk’s last wildly successful maniacal venture, Tesla, made American cars cool again with the uber-green and stylish electric-powered sedans that can be seen in a fancy zip code near you. His last big splash in the world of the impossible was the Hyperloop, a transportation infrastructure that could travel more than 600 miles per hour on land, making intercity travel faster than even airplanes travel today.
“You need to wake up and be excited about the future, and be inspired, and want to live.”
SpaceX was recently in the news when a satellite destined to be put into orbit blew up on the launch pad. Such setbacks haven’t deterred the seemingly mythical figure from the insane pursuit of the probably impossible. While human colonization on Mars seems like a science fiction to most of us ordinary mortals, to Musk, it’s something that’s within reach, so long as if the right amount of resources are available.
Musk is still relatively young, and doesn’t show any signs of quelling his constant thirst for harnessing technological advancement and changing the trajectory of mankind. Look for many more mind blowing presentations from this once-in-a-generation businessman.
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