Elon Musk’s fascination for planet Mars is well-documented. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has put his time and effort behind exploring the red planet and its ability to support life. On Friday, he wrote on Twitter, “Make life multiplanetary! #Mars.” This is not the first time that Musk has spoken about making life “multiplanetary.” Back in 2016, the tech billionaire spoke about his vision to build a colony of Martians. It was as part of this vision that SpaceX developed reusable rocketry.
Speaking to the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, Musk had said, “We need to go from these early exploration missions to actually building a city.” He had also mentioned that the spacecraft that Tesla was sending to Mars would be “fun or exciting” and would be equipped with a restaurant, cabins, zero-gravity games and movies.
In 2017, Musk said that he wanted SpaceX to get two cargo ships to Mars by 2022. A crewed mission would follow two years later, he added. SpaceX, in 2018, also launched its first-ever Falcon Heavy rocket. The company shot Musk’s cherry-red Tesla Roadster into deep space. The driver’s seat was occupied by a spacesuit-clad “Starman” dummy. In August 2019, the car completed its first orbit around the Sun.
However, despite several successes, Musk’s timeline for his Mars plans have wavered over the years.
Last year, Musk said that he was now hoping to send a million people to Mars by 2050. He also spoke about creating “a lot of jobs” on the planet. He even tweeted, “I am accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary and extend the light of consciousness to the stars.”
SpaceX was hoping to build 1,000 Starships in 10 years. Starships are the reusable spaceships being built by the company in South Texas.
Musk also opened up about how he divided his wealth between his plans for Earth and Mars. “About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth, and a half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure the continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor-like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens and we destroy ourselves,” he wrote.
Musk’s continued passion for Mars and outer space, in general, has also had its fair shares of critics. Recently, US Senator Bernie Sanders said, “Space travel is an exciting idea, but right now, we need to focus on Earth and create a progressive tax system so that children don’t go hungry, people are not homeless and all Americans have healthcare. The level of inequality in America is obscene and a threat to our democracy.”
Musk has also tweaked his Twitter bio to include his plans for Mars. His bio reads, “Technoking of Tesla, Imperator of Mars.” Imperator is a word used to describe an emperor or chieftain in ancient Rome.