Space X and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects to unveil plans for the spacecraft that would send humans to Mars within a decade.
Speaking at an event in Hong Kong, Musk said he was “hoping to describe the architecture” of the spacecraft at the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico in late September.
“That will be quite exciting,” Musk said. “In terms of the first flight to Mars, we are hoping to do that around 2025.”
Musk said space travel to Mars is part of a larger vision of one day establishing a city on the Red Planet – partly to ensure the survival of the human race but also “because it would be an incredible adventure, the greatest adventure ever. It would be exciting and inspiring. There need to be things that excite and inspire people.”
“It’s really a fundamental decision we need to make as a civilization. What kind of future do we want? Do we want one where we are forever confined to one planet until some eventual extinction event however far into the future that might occur or do we want to be a multi planet species and ultimately be out there among the stars, among many planets and many star systems,” he continued.
Musk said Mars was about the only planet he could envision establishing a human presence.
“Mars is the next natural step. In fact, it’s the only planet we have a shot at establishing a self-sustaining city on,” he said. “Once we do establish such a city, there will be strong forcing function for the improvement of space flight technology that will then enable us to establish colonies elsewhere in the solar system and ultimately extend beyond our solar system.”
As for his plans to go into space, Musk said he was hoping to reach the International Space Station “four or five years from now.” But don’t expect him to take time out now from building his companies to prepare for such a flight.
“I don’t think it’s that hard honestly, just float around,” he said. “It’s not that hard to float around.”
Musk – who is never short of fresh ideas – also offered the budding entrepreneurs in attendance at the Hong Kong conference areas that he thoguht are ripe for investing in the decades ahead. Among the sectors are electrification of airlines, genetics and establishing some kind of brain computer interface at the neuron level – “sort of intelligence augmentation as opposed to artificial intelligence.”
“That has a lot of potential,” he said of wiring the brain for what some called the brain Internet where thoughts could be uploaded to the cloud.
“You would never forget anything. You wouldn’t need to take photographs,” he said, with a chuckle.