The idea of human beings living on other planets is far from novel. Space travel and colonization has been a mainstay in science fiction since before H.G. Wells published The War of the Worlds over 100 years ago. But since the first days of space exploration in the 1950’s and the moon landing in 1969, man has made little progress in traveling to other planets himself. To this day, no human has ever set foot on Mars. But, according to Elon Musk, the time has almost come.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has been quoted as saying that he believes mankind will be able to set foot on Mars within the next 10 to 15 years. According to Musk, SpaceX has been working toward creating a reusable rocket for the purposes of interplanetary travel, and that recent testing has produced some very exciting results, even though they are still a ways away from anything viable.
But paying a visit to the red planet is only the beginning. Musk also believes that Mars can be colonized–can and should. ‘I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,’ said Musk in an interview with Aeon Magazine, ‘in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen…” He even goes on to say that he believes the hostile environment on Mars can be made into something more Earthlike.
Martian colonies within the next couple of decades: it’s an exciting idea! However, there are those (specifically Neil deGrasse Tyson) who think that Elon Musk is being just a little too optimistic in his projections for space travel. What do you think?