Billionaire Elon Musk, founder of Space-X, has his site set on colonizing Mars. That much is clear in other articles on Musk. No one really realizes just how serious Musk truly is about transporting people to other planets until he/she experiences Musk speaking live.
At the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium yesterday Musk spoke for nearly 90 minutes on numerous subjects including Tesla, his company SpaceX, A.I. and man’s future in outer space. Musk pointed out: “The basic ingredients are there,” to “a sold-out crowd” in Kresge Auditorium.
Musk said that if we truly are going to colonize the red planet humanity will first need to work out some of the details. Strong, reusable landing gear—which SpaceX is already developing—is the first item on the checklist. He also stated that generating power on Mars is an “interesting problem” as well.
More importantly, Musk stressed that mankind must choose between being “a single-planet species or a multi-planet species. Multi-planet will last a lot longer, propagate far longer” than would a species restricted to Earth.
It’s “planetary redundancy—backing up the biosphere. We’ve got all of our eggs in one basket here … Some risks are extremely difficult to mitigate, and some we ultimately may not be able to mitigate . . . The question is, should we [colonize Mars] now, or wait for some point in future. I think the wise moment is to do it now.”
Becoming a “multi-planet” species is necessary if humanity is going to continue to thrive and it does not have to be costly. Musk stated: “One percent of our resources, we could be buying life insurance collectively for life.”
All we need do is adjust our priorities. “Lipstick or Mars colonies?” he asked. Musk mentioned his vision of an Olympics-style competition in which nations will someday compete to construct the technology needed for the effort.
He garnered rounds of spontaneous applause and his conclusion was rewarded with a standing ovation. Many were happy to hear Musk is a Star Trek fan. When questioned about his taste in science fiction he praised the classic television series’ generally optimistic presentation of the future. “There are so many post-apocalyptic futures, it’s like, can we have one that’s nice.”
SpaceX’s Musk: Mars, Multi-Species & Star Trek