Elon Musk says 'a bunch of people will probably die' traveling to Mars

Elon Musk admits ‘a bunch of people will probably die’ during SpaceX’s initial voyages to Mars – but insists it will be a ‘glorious adventure and amazing experience’

  • The SpaceX founder was speaking Thursday when he made the stark prediction 
  • Musk has already said he hopes to get humans on Mars by 2026 
  • But a barefoot Musk warned Thursday: ‘Going to Mars reads like that advert for Shackleton going to the Antarctic. You know it is dangerous, it’s uncomfortable’
  • ‘You might not come back alive but it is a glorious adventure,’ Musk added
  • He said: ‘Yeah, honestly a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning’
  • SpaceX brought spaceflight back to America last May, launching NASA astronauts from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station
  • On Saturday SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year arrived on the ISS
  • NASA plans to put humans on Mars by 2033 as part of its Artemis program 

Elon Musk admits ‘a bunch of people will probably die’ during SpaceX’s initial voyages to Mars – but has insisted it will be a ‘glorious adventure and amazing experience’. 

The SpaceX founder was speaking with Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation, when he made the stark prediction.  

Musk has already said he hopes to get humans on Mars by 2026 – seven years before NASA aims to land astronauts on the Red Planet.

But a barefoot Musk warned Thursday: ‘Going to Mars reads like that advert for Shackleton going to the Antarctic. You know it is dangerous, it’s uncomfortable and it’s a long journey.

‘You might not come back alive but it is a glorious adventure and it will be an amazing experience. 

‘Yeah, honestly a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning.

‘It’s tough going over there.’

Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis in conversation about the launch of the largest incentive prize in history, the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition. During the chat Musk admitted ‘a bunch of people will probably die’ during SpaceX’s initial voyages to Mars

The Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying four astronauts from three countries launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Friday. Musk has already said he hopes to get humans on Mars by 2026 – seven years before NASA aims to land astronauts there 

SpaceX brought spaceflight back to America in May last year by launching NASA astronauts from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the to the International Space Station (ISS) – an event that has not happened in nearly a decade. 

Dubbed ‘Launch America,’ it was also the first time a private company has put astronauts into space.  

In February Musk told the Good Times Show his goal was to establish a self-sustaining Martian civilization. 

NASA plans to put the first humans on Mars by 2033 as part of its Artemis program that will see the next man and first woman land on the Moon in 2024. 

Although Musk hopes to achieve his goal of landing humans on the Red Planet by 2026, he was realistic and said it isn’t a hard deadline due to the technical hurdles. 

Musk says there are a number of technological advances that need to be made between now and 2026 before humans can travel to Mars on Starship. 

These include ensuring Starship is fully reusable and that it can reach orbit where it is able to refuel ready for the long six month trip to Mars.  

Musk says there are a number of technological advances that need to be made between now and 2026 before humans can travel to Mars on Starship

SpaceX Starships SN9 and SN10. After a series of successful test flights, Musk hopes to send an uncrewed Starship to Mars and back at some point in 2024 – before a crewed flight in 2026

After a series of successful test flights, Musk hopes to send an uncrewed Starship to Mars and back at some point in 2024 – before a crewed flight in 2026. 

‘For the first time in the four and a half billion year history of Earth it has been possible to extend life beyond Earth and make life multi-planetary,’ he said.

‘Humanity is the agent of life and we have an obligation to ensure the creatures of Earth continue even if there is a calamity on Earth, whether it is man-made or a natural calamity – if you look at the fossil record there are many mass extinctions. 

‘It is about ensuring we pass that threshold where it is self-sustaining if some calamity prevents the ships from going there.

‘What comes first – a self-sustaining city on Mars or World War Three?’

He said it would be a tiny, dangerous outpost to start with requiring a lot of hard work, a ‘frontier environment’ with far more ways to die than there are on Earth.

‘It will be fun and a great adventure, but it will not be a luxurious thing to start’.

He said the propellant plant, solar power, food production, iron ore refinery are all ‘fundamentals of industry’ required to make Mars self-sustaining. 

On Saturday the International Space Station’s population swelled to 11 with the jubilant arrival of SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year. It’s the biggest crowd up there in more than a decade.

All of the astronauts – representing the U.S., Russia, Japan and France – managed to squeeze into camera view for a congratulatory call from the leaders of their space agencies.

A recycled SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts arrived at the space station a day after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.  

On Saturday the International Space Station’s population swelled to 11 with the jubilant arrival of SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year. It’s the biggest crowd up there in more than a decade. All of the astronauts – representing the U.S., Russia, Japan and France – managed to squeeze into camera view for a congratulatory call from the leaders of their space agencies

Although this was SpaceX´s third crew flight for NASA, it was the first to use a vehicle that´s flown before, an essential part of a plan by SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk to push to the moon and Mars. 

The Dragon capsule was used for SpaceX´s first crew launch last May, while the Falcon rocket soaring Friday hoisted crew two in November.

It was the first time two SpaceX crew Dragons were parked there at the same time – practically side by side. 

And earlier this month NASA picked Musk’s SpaceX to build the spacecraft that take the first woman and next man to the moon. The Musk-owned firm beat out Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Dynetics.

The officials statement from NASA confirms SpaceX will be the only one to take humans back to the moon for the first time since the Apollo mission 48 years ago.  

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