Elon Musk has admitted that "a bunch of people will probably die" during SpaceX's initial voyages to Mars. However, he said that even then the mission will be a "glorious adventure and amazing experience" for those on board the spaceship. The SpaceX pioneer made his blunt prediction as he laughed at how his planned Mars mission was being seen as "some escape hatch for rich people."
Musk's comments came as a shock to many given the way he said it with a blunt face. He was speaking with Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation, when he made the stark prediction, which now raises serious concerns among many.
Musk on Thursday warned: "Going to Mars reads like that advert for Shackleton going to the Antarctic. You know it is dangerous, it's uncomfortable and it's a long journey. You might die, it's going to be uncomfortable and probably won't have good food," Musk told Diamandis.
"You might not come back alive but it is a glorious adventure and it will be an amazing experience," he added. Musk said that he is sure that some people will definitely die in the beginning and there's no denying that given the risk involved in the mission.
It's "not for everyone," Musk stressed with a chuckle, "Volunteers only!" "Advertisements for the journey should note how it will be an "arduous and dangerous journey where you may not come back alive," he said with another chuckle.
Musk's shocking comments just two months after he confidently said on the Good Times Show that his goal was to establish a self-sustaining Martian civilization. Although Musk is still confident and aims to land humans on the Red Planet by 2026, his comments this time sound far more realistic. He said that it isn't a hard deadline due to the technical hurdles but definitely many on the mission might lose their lives given the risk involved in it.
Musk Big Dream
Musk is confident that the mission won't get delayed due to the technical hurdles although a number of technological advances need to be made between now and 2026 before humans can travel to the Red Planet on Starship.
One of the biggest challenges among them is to ensure that Starship is fully reusable and that it can reach orbit where it is able to refuel ready for the long six month trip to Mars.
That said, SpaceX has been moving at a record pace toward its Mars mission and has tasted success last year after it brought back spaceflight to America in May when it launched four NASA astronauts from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the to the International Space Station (ISS). Dubbed 'Launch America,' it was also the first time a private company has put astronauts into space.
After a series of successful test flights, Musk also hopes to send an unmanned Starship to Mars and back sometime in 2024, before a crewed flight in 2026.
"For the first time in the four and a half billion year history of Earth it has been possible to extend life beyond Earth and make life multi-planetary," Musk said. However, this time, he clearly indicated that the mission won't be that easy for those onboard.