Colonizing Mars

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Recently, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed his plan to colonize our not-too-distant planetary neighbor, Mars. He envisions that within the next decade, the first humans will be sent to the planet, and by 2060, millions will follow. Musk has become one of the most famous billionaires after numerous business ventures, including SpaceX, PayPal, and Tesla. His focus has altered from the future of his business to the future of humankind.

Musk said, “This is not about everyone moving to Mars, this is about becoming multi-planetary…This is really about minimizing existential risk and having a tremendous sense of adventure…Either we’re going to become a multi-planet species and a spacefaring civilization, or we’re going to be stuck on one planet until some eventual extinction event.”

Evidently, he sees humans as a soon-to-be interplanetary species, and wants SpaceX to be the pioneer. The spacecraft will be 200-plus feet tall, and 3.5 times as powerful as the Saturn V, NASA’s ship for the Apollo missions. A large part of his envisioned “Mars Fleet” is reusability, recycling, and the implementation of solar power.

Though at this point the mission is mere speculation, we are undoubtedly at a point in human history during which we have the option to become interplanetary.

In Musk’s words, “In the sort of grander historical context, what really matters is being able to send a large number of people, like tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people, and ultimately millions of tons of cargo. I actually care much more about that than, say, the first few trips.”

Musk’s aspirations could mark a new era in human history.

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