Will There Ever Be a Colony on Mars?



Whether or not you believe in Martians or life on Mars, there is a growing movement of people here on earth that wants to pursue, at very least, space travel to the Red Planet, and in some cases an actual community of Mars-dwellers. While, living on Mars may seem like far-fetched material from sci-fi movies of the past, the number of organizations trying to get there is growing, including the Mars One project that aims to establish the first human settlement on the planet. Elon Musk, of Tesla Motors fame, is also very interested in reaching the Red Planet. His SpaceX initiative has announced plans to carry at least 100 people to Mars – with the idea of building a civilization there – then returning for even more.

Musk Believes Humans Will Inhabit Mars

To some, the idea of even going to Mars for a short visit is ridiculous, let alone sending people there to live and build a settlement or civilization. However, those who want to go are not deterred, even if their naysayers are many. In a recent interview with Y Combinator, Elon Musk was asked about Mars and the possibility of actually having a colony on the Red Planet. When asked what he thought the odds were of that happening he responded: “Well, oddly enough, I actually think they're pretty good.” He understands the doubters and all the reasons why it might not happen or how it could go wrong, but he still believes in this initiative. “I hope I'm not in some realm of self-delusion here. But look at it this way: at this point, I'm certain there is a way.”

Success Is a Possible Outcome

He said he’s also certain that success is one of the possible outcomes for establishing a self-sustaining Mars colony, and a growing Mars colony. He is certain that is possible. Elon didn’t always feel that way. In fact, he said just a few years ago he wasn’t sure that success was one of the possible outcomes of this endeavor. However, he now feels that it’s not only possible, but he also thinks it could happen in the very near future. “In terms of having some meaningful number of people going to Mars, I think this is potentially something that can be accomplished in about 10 years. Maybe sooner.” He pointed out that part of the success formula includes ensuring that his company SpaceX lives on, as well himself. “I need to make sure that SpaceX doesn't die between now and then and that I don't die, or if I do die, that someone takes over who will continue that.”

Don’t Bet Against Musk

Even with Elon’s positive attitude and mindset, there is still much to be done, and along the way there will be many that say it can’t be done. However, betting against the man who created Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and who has a hand in OpenAI, usually ends up in failure. So look out Mars, in 2026 here we come.

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