Elon Musk has dismissed claims that humans moving to Mars is an “escape hatch for rich people.”
During an interview with Axios on HBO Sunday night, the SpaceX founder and CEO said he was “talking about moving there,” and that it’s 70 percent likely he’ll get there personally. Even though there’s a heightened risk of death.
Musk’s big Mars plans are no secret. In Sept. 2017, the 47-year-old billionaire announced his ambitious intention to get to Mars by 2022 — before preparing for a human crew in 2024.
Musk backed up this timeline on Sunday, telling Axios that human trips to Mars would be possible in seven years time. Unsurprisingly, tickets to Mars ain’t gonna be cheap, priced at “around a couple hundred thousand dollars.”
But Musk denied that trips to Mars could be an exit strategy for the wealthy on Earth, what Axios’ Mike Allen called an “escape hatch for rich people.”
“No. Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than on Earth,” Musk replied. “It’s gonna be hard. There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space.”
Musk reiterated the fact that the trip won’t exactly be a joyride, with plenty of hard work waiting on the other side for passengers — someone has to build the new colony.
“Once you land successfully, you’ll be working nonstop to build the base. So, you know, not much time for leisure,” he said. “And once you get there, even after doing all this, it’s a very harsh environment. So, there’s a good chance you die there.
“We think you can come back but we’re not sure. Now, does that sound like an escape hatch for rich people?”
In September, Musk said his company plans to reach the red planet with SpaceX’s BFR — short for Big Falcon Rocket or Big F*cking Rocket — now known as SpaceX’s Starship.
The interview aired the day before NASA’s InSight lander is scheduled to touch down on Mars. Set to land on Monday at 3 p.m. ET, the vessel is on a mission to observe Martian earthquakes and study the planet’s interior.