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Elon Musk Unveils “Mind Blowing” Mars Mission

Elon Musk has opened up to The Washington Post about his plans for a mission to Mars, describing the feat as “mind blowing.” Musk, who founded astronautics start-up SpaceX 14 years ago, has made no secret of his desire to colonise Mars, last year revealing an ambitious plan to nuke the Red Planet’s poles to make it habitable for humans.

Musk envisions that his SpaceX Mars mission will begin in 2018 with the launch of the first of many unmanned spacecraft – carrying scientific equipment, rovers, and other resources – with subsequent launches every two years to prepare for the first human landing in 2025.

“Essentially what we’re saying is we’re establishing a cargo route to Mars,” Musk said. “It’s a regular cargo route. You can count on it. It’s going happen every 26 months. Like a train leaving the station. And if scientists around the world know that they can count on that, and it’s going to be inexpensive, relatively speaking compared to anything in the past, then they will plan accordingly and come up with a lot of great experiments.”

While NASA has pledged “technical support” for the 2018 SpaceX Mars mission, Musk’s start-up will be going it alone, which will be an impressive feat in itself.

“This is going to be mind blowing,” Musk beamed. “Mind blowing. It’s going to be really great.”

“I’m so tempted to talk more about the details of it. But I have to restrain myself,” he added, though going on to say that “the first mission wouldn’t have a huge number of people on it, because if something goes wrong, we want to risk the fewest number of lives as possible.”

“But I do want to emphasize this is not about sending a few people to Mars,” he continued. “It’s about having an architecture that would enable the creation of a self-sustaining city on Mars with the objective of being a multi-planet species and a true space-faring civilization and one day being out there among the stars.”

Musk will rely on a pioneering spirit to facilitate the first SpaceX manned voyage to Mars, admitting that it will be dangerous and will likely cost lives.

“It’s dangerous and probably people will die—and they’ll know that,” he said. “And then they’ll pave the way, and ultimately it will be very safe to go to Mars, and it will very comfortable. But that will be many years in the future.”

Ashley Allen

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