Elon Musk wants humans to make it to Mars. With his company SpaceX at his back, he’s pushed forward with some incredibly bold claims about what is possible for mankind on the Red Planet. He’s shown off concepts for Mars settlements and even called out scientists who say climate engineering on the planet is impossible.
Now, in an interview with HBO’s Axios, Musk doubles down on one of the more off-the-wall claims he’s made during his years in the spotlight. Mars, he says, will be his eventual home, and he estimates his odds of moving to the planet at a generous 70%.
Musk has said in the past that he’s fine with the idea of dying on Mars, as long as it’s not during landing (or, more accurately, crashing). He’s all-in on the idea of actually traveling there himself, which is a bold declaration in light of his own proclamation that the first humans who make the trip have a really, really good chance of dying.
When pressed about whether or not living on Mars would be an escape from the problems humanity is dealing with on Earth, Musk fired back. Pointing out all the difficulties of living on Mars, Musk said that even after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege of moving to Mars — a price point Musk hopes will be a reality before long — life will be difficult and incredibly dangerous, with very little time for relaxing.
As for why he’d want to go, knowing the hardships that are likely to come for anyone who makes the journey, Musk compared a Mars trip to scaling Everest. People die on Everest all the time, Musk noted, adding that people still make the trek because they enjoy the challenge. The difference, of course, is that a trip to Everest eventually ends, as long as you survive the ascent and descent, while a trip to Mars sounds more like a one-way ticket.