Elon Musk wants to send a spaceship to Mars in 2019. Musk made the declaration at an appearance on the Westworld panel at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. As CNBC reports, Musk’s and SpaceX main goal is to build a human colony on Mars and they’re taking steps towards making it a reality.
Musk hinted at their plans at the panel saying that we (SpaceX) “are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and I think well be able to short trips, flights by the first half of next year.”
But Musk did admit that the projection might be a bit too ambitious. “Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know…” he said triggering laughter from the audience. The billionaire CEO has become known for making seemingly unattainable deadlines in his role as CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company.
Musk added that he hopes that going after the “impossible” will inspire other companies and countries to do the same.
“I think once we build it we’ll have a point of proof something that other companies and countries can go and do. They certainly don’t think it’s possible, but if we do they’ll up their game.”
Musk’s big gambles have been paying off of late.
In February, his private rocket ship company launched the Falcon Heavy which, according to SpaceX’s website is the most powerful operational rocket in the world “by a factor of two.” SpaceX claims that the rocket could lift 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) which is heavier than a 737 fully loaded and fuelled jetliner. The rocket’s payload included a cherry red Tesla roadster owned by Musk himself, “driven” by a crash-test dummy named Starman.
So, with Musk at the helm of SpaceX’s Mars efforts, a colony on Mars seems possible.
Musk told the audience at SXSW that the founders of a Mars colony will have to build basic structures for human habitation and industry from scratch, CNBC reports. There will need to be a power station and glass domes, for example. After the initial foundation is complete, Musk expects “the explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity” to follow since the Mars colony will require “everything from iron foundries to pizza joints.”
As Engadget reports, Musk has teamed up with the creators of the hit HBO show to make a film about the groundbreaking Falcon Heavy test launch. The clips were revealed shortly after his appearance at South by Southwest and are currently trending on YouTube.