Elon Musk - I Can Put Humans On Mars By 2026
Much has been said of NASA's plans to send humans to Mars by the year 2035, but one man thinks he can do it a whole lot quicker. Elon Musk, the genius behind SpaceX and Tesla, has laid the gauntlet down to NASA by claiming he can get humans to Mars by the year 2026, and quite frankly, you wouldn't bet against him.
In an interview with CNBC today, Musk claimed that while getting humans to Mars is one thing, creating a sustainable habitat on the planet should be the ultimate goal.
"I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10-12 years, I think it is certainly possible for that to occur. But the thing that matters in the long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multi-planetary," said Musk.
Musk's SpaceX operation has worked with NASA on a number of projects in recent years and he hopes that similar Public/Private partnerships continue to blossom. It may not be long before SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft could start delivering NASA astronauts to the International Space Station and, from a purely financial standpoint, contracts like this could be crucial to SpaceX achieving their goals of making it to Mars. However, should revenues from government contracts dry up, Musk believes that there is always the option of taking SpaceX to the stock markets...Now those are some shares I would happily purchase.
But Musk sees the human occupation of our planetary neighbor as something far greater than an expansion of human space exploration. To Musk, this is a matter of survival.
"We will either be a multi-planet species and out there among the stars, or we will be a single-planet species until some form of eventual extinction event, either natural or man-made."
Musk isn't alone in his belief that jumping planetary ship is crucial to the survival our species, though. Countless scientists and astronomers believe that it will only be a matter of time before the needs of humanity far outweigh Earth's ability to provide for us. The language being used by commentators such as Musk may seem extreme, but thankfully their actions seem perfectly adept to matching their words. SpaceX is just one of many organizations looking to send humans to mars within our lifetimes. The privately funded Mars One received more than 200,000 applicants for their proposed colonization effort of the Red Planet. If successful, Mars One will see four colonists (selected by the global public) shipping off on a one-way trip to Mars by the year 2025.
So it would seem that when it comes to expanding the planetary living quarters of our species, it's more a matter of "when" and not "if."