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Elon Musk Is Still Working on a ‘Game Plan’ for Going to Mars


Elon Musk has had a rough couple years here on Earth, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that he’s still looking to relocate to Mars, and you might be able to come along for the ride.

In response to a tweet that teased SpaceX’s Starship as the rocket that will “take us to Mars,” Musk said “we are mapping out a game plan to get a million people to Mars.”

“Civilization only passes the single-planet Great Filter when Mars can survive even if Earth supply ships stop coming,” he adds.

The Great Filter, from economist Robin Hanson, is the idea that a species ultimately faces a barrier to survival, whether external, like an asteroid wiping out all of life, or internal, like all-out nuclear war.

Musk posits that the only way for humans to pass the single-planet Great Filter is to colonize Mars to such an extent that people there would survive even if supplies stopped coming from Earth. Of course, SpaceX needs to get a starship to the planet first, and the logistics have been a bit tricky.

SpaceX is currently testing its starship prototype, which had a shaky launch last year following what SpaceX called a “rapid disassembly” in its initial test in early 2023. (Translation: it exploded).

Mars has been a frequent topic for Musk dating back nearly a decade. Years ago, Musk stated that the first missions to Mars would take place in 2024 or 2025. Since then, the timeline has shifted slightly, with the new estimate being sometime before the end of the decade.

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The ultimate goal is to have a city on Mars by roughly 2040. Musk’s plans include over 1,000 starships to transport a million tons of cargo to the planet, which he hopes will make the first city sustainable during the two years that Earth and Mars won’t be in alignment. With a sustainable city, people could start moving there en masse, which Musk believes will cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 per trip, depending on how many people want to make the trip.

Musk says the odds of him moving to Mars sit at a solid 70%. However, with the current timeline, Musk will be well into his 70s by the time all of the pieces are in place.

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