Making humans a 'multi-planetary' species by moving to Mars has long been a key ambition of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
It is, after all, the key motivator behind the company's ambitious plans to build Starship, a high-tech rocket which is set to be more powerful than any other in existence thanks to its Raptor engines.
However, while the world's richest man certainly keeps himself busy with SpaceX projects, it's rare that he offers the public much in the way of deadlines.
That is, until now. When pressed by podcast host Lex Fridman on how long it will take SpaceX to land a human on Mars, Musk finally offered something in the way of a timeline.
After a long awkward pause of over twenty seconds, Musk replied:
"Hmm… best case is about five years, worst case is ten years."
Musk explained that the key obstacle to getting boots on the ground of the Red Planet is the need to build Starship.
He told Fridman: "Starship is the most complex and advanced rocket that has ever been made by an order of magnitude or something. It's a lot. It's really next level."
This is because Starship is designed to carry a much heavier payload to space at a much cheaper cost than conventional rockets, making it possible to take vital materials up to space.
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Musk says this is necessary in order to bring down costs enough to make a city on Mars financially viable. He said:
"Right now you can fly to Mars for $1 trillion. No amount of money could get you a ticket to Mars. So we need to get that like something that is actually possible at all.
"But we don't just want to have with Mars flags and footprints and not come back for a half-century like we did with the Moon. I think we need to be a multi-planet species."
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