SpaceX and Tesla Motors creator Elon Musk intends to have humans on Mars in six years. Given Musk's previous accomplishments and the speed that modern technology is progressing, he likely will accomplish this goal.
On Sept. 27, Musk gave the keynote address at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. In his speech, Musk told audience members he anticipates being able to bring humans to and from Mars by the year 2022. This is three years sooner than any date Musk previously suggested, according to The Guardian.
Presently, travel to Mars seems like a fantastical idea. NASA tried to prepare for possible human travel to Earth’s neighboring planet for more than 70 years, according to National Geographic. Is it possible that preparations could be complete in the next six years?
With Musk in control, the answer is yes.
This is the man who invented a video game at the age of 12 and sold it for $500. In February 1999, Musk created X.com which later became PayPal, the successful online payments site. He founded SpaceX in 2002 and invested in Tesla Motors in 2004.
This is an impressive track record for someone who is 45 years old. If Musk says he can get humans to Mars in six years, we have reason to believe that he will follow up on his promises.
Additionally, Musk has the funds necessary to spearhead such an ambitious project.
“The reason I am personally accruing assets is to fund this. I really have no other purpose than to make life interplanetary,” said Musk when asked about funding following his speech in Mexico, according to The Guardian.
When Musk sold Zip2 technology to computer company Compaq in 1999, he made $22 million, according to The Mercury News. When eBay acquired PayPal, Musk got $165 million.
Those were deals he made before the unparalleled success of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. As of Sept. 28, Musk’s net worth, as reported by Forbes, is $11.7 billion. Needless to say, he is financially stable.
Additionally, Musk has the vision and knowledge to put his plan into action.
In his recent speech, Musk explained that a reusable booster will be necessary to allow the carrier to take multiple trips to and from Mars. The booster would resemble a larger version of the Falcon 9, a reusable booster that already has been successfully tested by SpaceX.
Musk also discussed the possibility of synthesizing fuel on the surface of Mars using carbon dioxide and water to sustain trips back to Earth, according to The Guardian.
In 2012, the SpaceX Dragon delivered cargo to the International Space Station and returned to Earth safely under Musk’s direction. Scientists have every reason to remain confident that Musk could do the same with humans traveling to and from Mars.
Musk has a clear vision and knows what he must accomplish in the next few years to get humans to Mars in 2022. With his knowledge, financial stability and global power as a tech super figure, Musk will accomplish his goal.