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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