It seems everything Musk says, the take-away is one word – AWESOME. Everything Musk & SpaceX attempts, to our knowledge, quickly becomes historical fact. So when Musk has continued over the years to mention that he wanted to go to Mars no one should have doubted his resolve. And yet, here we are at a time when he releases details of his plan to go to Mars and the public is incredulous, well, except for a percentage who knows that if Musk says it, it’s going to happen!
I wrote several blogs that came to the conclusion the Mars 500 – could solve all their problems if they were to have Elon Musk as a partner. His plans to colonize Mars are his own, but might end up finding some of his participants from the pool of already trained civilians who have already made the decision to go to Mars and dedicated their life to that goal.
Now here is something that I rarely do, quote someone. But Elon is very quotable and he speaks with an understanding that many do not have. WE need to become multi-planetary if the human race is to survive. I don’t mean of Aunt Ethel is to survive – we have already decided to doom the Earth based on lack of cleaning up the Earth being seen as a priority, or the fact that it is possible that an incoming meteor could take us all out in a moment’s notice; but the survival of the race can only be guaranteed if we are everywhere. Per Elon Musk at a crowd at the annual winter meeting of the AGU (American Geophysical Union whose Vision Statement is: AGU galvanizes a community of Earth and space scientists that collaboratively advances and communicates science and its power to ensure a sustainable future.)
"Now is the first time in the history of Earth that the window is open, where it's possible for us to ," Musk told a huge crowd on December 15, 2015 at the annual winter meeting of the AGU "That window may be open for a long time — and hopefully it is — but it also may be open for a short time," he added. "I think the wise move is to make life multiplanetary while we can."
He has a vision in his head that he releases to ‘us’ in little bits. Perhaps so we don’t view his as more forward thinking than he already is, though I suspect a somewhat different word might be used there.
The plan for going to Mars is a simple one and involves the already setup NASA partnership. The plan begins just two years, actually a year and a half from now, with an unmanned flight in 2018. Elon plans to make the route a well-traveled supply route and there are many companies already interested in his plans. This includes in particular, satellite companies, and that helps to feed the evolution of his plan to the colonization of Mars which will then allow for us to ‘conquer’ even more worlds.
Musk calls this the “Mars Payload” scheme and involves a cargo service that will run to Mars every two years for the low fee of $62 million. And NASA is onboard with technical support. It is in their best interest that Elon’s mission in 2018 succeeds as well as his plans that follow as the NASA mission planned for 2030 can only benefit.
NOW if Elon Musk strikes you as maybe a bit like Anthony Stark of Iron Man fame, then this tid-bit will confirm it! Elon hired a well-known superhero costume designer for movies to aid in the design of the SpaceX spacesuits. When the first colonists for Mars hop off their spacecraft onto the virgin Mars frontier, they will make a splash. (You know that with all the cargo runs prior there will be satellite coverage for TV!) Yes, the inimitable Jose Fernandez who has created superhero costumes in sci fi movies such as Batman v Superman, Oblivion, Tron: Legacy, Jupiter Ascending and much more. I, for one, cannot wait to see it! Plus; there was tons of excitement when it was realized that NASA was to go to the vicinity of Mars by 2030 (thanks to a mandate by Obama!) It would all begin in our lifetimes – so exciting!! But now we have something more to hold on to. It all begins in 2018 with the human invasion of Mars starting in 2024 – too incredible for words.
In conclusion I want to go back to the statement: ‘He has a vision in his head that he releases to ‘us’ in little bits’. Think about that some. Because when you consider that reusable rockets were actually a requirement of the long term goal of getting to Mars, then you see a touch of how Elon sees everything as a big map made up of little goals and big goals.
Do I think Mars is the final goal on his list? No. But I expect it is a major gateway to what he sees as a stepping-stone, no doubt, to the Universe.