“One day, a trip to Mars will be like a flight across the country,” claims Elon Musk as he sets sights on populating the red planet.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk has revealed an ambitious plan to establish a human colony on Mars within the next few years. On Sunday, Musk announced via social media that he aims to transport one million people to the Red Planet, stating that “civilisation only passes the single-planet Great Filter when Mars can survive even if Earth supply ships stop coming.”
His comments came in response to a post about the capabilities of SpaceX’s Starship rocket, which Musk claims will be instrumental in achieving his Mars goals. “One day, a trip to Mars will be like a flight across the country,” he tweeted.
Musk’s lofty Martian dreams are nothing new. The tech mogul has long voiced his intent to make humanity “multi-planetary,” often citing a human settlement on Mars as an insurance policy for civilisation. However, his recent statements suggest SpaceX is aggressively working to turn this vision into a reality within the next few years.
Just last week, Musk predicted that Starship could reach the Moon within five years. He also noted that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will take astronauts further into space than anyone has ventured in over 50 years. While ambitious, Musk does acknowledge that establishing a self-sustaining civilisation on Mars will require tremendous effort and innovation.
He has previously also discussed plans to construct a permanent Moon base in the future. “Humanity should have a moon base, cities on Mars and be out there among the stars,” Musk tweeted back in December.
Although Musk is known for his aspirational timelines, his companies have achieved major milestones once thought improbable, like reusable orbital rockets. Still, the Mars vision faces daunting technical challenges.
A recent Starship test flight ended in an explosive crash, showing progress remains slow. Musk hopes the third test this year will finally reach orbit, proving the vehicle’s capabilities.