SpaceX Mars Rocket Will Begin Test Flights as Early as 2019

12 March, 2018, 12:17 | Author: Rosalie Gross
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Musk said he expected that creating the BFR would cause other rocket ventures to "up their game" and unlock the entrepreneurial energy required to create cities on the Red Planet, complete with iron foundries, pizza joints and Mars bars.

Previously he had outlined hopes to send cargo missions to Mars by 2022, which will eventually lead to human colonisation. SpaceX aims to launch humans on Mars by 2023, however, there may be certain changes in the plan due to constraints related to the upcoming journey.

He also said celestial outposts on Mars or the moon would not become an "escape hatch for rich people", but rather require those with a frontier mentality.

He said he believes once the hard part is over - building the spaceship - other companies and countries will jump at the opportunity of doing it themselves.

"For the early people that go to Mars, it will be far more unsafe", Mr Musk said. It kind of reads like Shackleton's ad for Antarctic explorers.

"It kind of reads like [Ernest] Shackleton's ad for Antarctic explorers: hard, dangerous, good chance you'll die". He pointed out that living on the Mars is both unsafe and increases the chances of death but on the other hand, surviving on the red planet will be an excitement in itself.

"We are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and I think we'll be able to [have] short trips, flights by [the] first half of next year", he said in a question-and-answer session at the SXSW.

Repeating concerns he's made in the past with even more vigour, he said a bigger threat to human life was artificial intelligence - not nuclear war.

The ultimate goal of the mission, of course, is a Mars colony.

The billionaire entrepreneur has always denied that he wants to rule the planet, and on Saturday he detailed his vision for a direct democracy in which "people vote directly on issues instead of going through representative government". And just like the show's creators, Musk has never been one to hold back on his thoughts regarding AI and how to use it with caution.

The SpaceX founder suggested his title might be "emperor", adding that it was only a joke. The business magnate said he expects BFR to take short flights early next year, but only after conceding that his timelines haven't always been accurate, a reference to the delays plaguing new Tesla models.

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