Elon Musk says the Martian colony is preparing humanity to become interstellar.
Elon Musk has said that his plan to establish a permanent colony on Mars will eventually allow humanity to become not only multiplanetar but also interstellar.
The SpaceX boss is currently developing Starship missiles to transport people and cargo across the solar system with the ultimate goal of building a self-sustaining colony on the Red Planet.
He has consistently stated that this is the ultimate goal of SpaceX as, in his opinion, it is fundamentally necessary to ensure the long-term survival of humanity as a species.
The schedule for this has been postponed several times, although the earliest interplanetary spacecraft cargo missions could take place in 2024 or 2026 if the orbits of Earth and Mars are aligned. It is hoped that a fully self-sufficient Martian colony could be established by around 2050, though Musk has yet to speak publicly about what comes after.
When asked by one of his Twitter followers about the Great Filter – a philosophical concept relating to the likelihood of a species reaching an advanced stage of development in order to explore space before they become extinct – Musk explained what his hopes were for humanity were once Mars was colonized.
“If we succeed in making life on Mars self-sustaining, we will have passed one of the greatest filters. That then enables us to become interstellar, ”he said answered. “The earth is ~ 4.5 billion years old, but life is still not multiplanetar and it is extremely uncertain how much time there is left to become it.”
SpaceX is preparing for the first orbital launch of its Starship rocket, which will take off from Texas and land off the coast of Hawaii early next year.
There have been several high-altitude tests of the next-generation missile, all but one of which resulted in a fiery explosion.
When completed, the spacecraft and accompanying launcher will be the most powerful rocket ever built capable of generating more than double the thrust of NASA’s Saturn V rocket used during the Apollo missions.
SpaceX is also building them to be quickly reusable, which would transform space travel and allow their fleets to shuttle between planets.
“For life to be multi-planetary, we might need 1,000 ships or something like that,” Musk said earlier this month during an event with the US National Academy of Sciences.
“In the long run it is important to keep the light of consciousness. Someday something will happen on earth, hopefully not soon, either naturally or man-made, which would mean the end of civilization. The likely lifespan of civilization is much longer when we are a species with multiple planets. “
The exact start date for the next big Starship Test has not yet been set, although Musk said he thought it was unlikely to be a complete success, adding, “But I think we will make great strides.”