Looks like my dreams of investing my small treasure into a future space faring corporation will not happen for a very long, long time…
According to citizen astronaut and SpaceX investor Richard Garriott, the company only exists to colonize Mars. Garriott revealed that Musk often jokes with investors about that, saying things like, “by the way, none of this money is coming back until we are on Mars. “
Musk’s intentions aren’t necessarily a surprise, considering that he’s often spoken about the Red Planet. Only recently, he talked about nuking the planet to prepare it for human arrival and told Tesla shareholders earlier this year that SpaceX will not go public until regular flights to Mars are an actual thing. (Boy Genius Report)
So when does SpaceX plan on visiting Mars? About a decade from now (give or take a few years of course!).
Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has long been an advocate of setting up a Mars colony. Way back in early 2012 he said he’d worked out a way of sending an “average person” on a round-trip to Mars for $500,000. His tune seems to be a little more muted now, but his new estimate of 10-12 years — before 2026 — is still fairly optimistic. (ExtremeTech)
Assuming SpaceX is successful at landing humans upon the red planet it probably will be at least a decade afterwards before “regular flights” to Mars become realistic.
Personally I am skeptical SpaceX will establish a colony upon Mars before 2040 due to deadly solar flares, cosmic radiation and toxic Martian dust (which can shut off human thyroids).
Although I am confident those obstacles will be overcome by humanity in the future, I am doubtful all of these will be resolved within a decade due to…financial resources and politics (sadly humanity may experience another world war or great depression before a human sets foot on Mars).
Either way I do hope SpaceX is successful as I want to be able to see humanity return to the Moon again…as well as visit Mars! 🙂