Star-gazing serial technology entrepreneur Elon Musk wants to put people on Mars in under 10 years time.
However, prospective recruits may want to think twice before joining the mission. "If you gotta choose a place to die, then Mars is probably not a bad choice. It’s not some sort of Martian death wish," he added.
SpaceX intends to start running the second version of its Dragon mission next year, which is capable of blasting up to seven astronauts into space. This will be followed by missions to Mars with the Dragon V2 in 2018," he added.
"The 2018 mission will be a Dragon V2, I wouldn’t recommend travelling to Mars in that. It has the interior volume of an SUV. This will be a very big rocket. And it also doesn’t have the capability of getting back to earth," he said.
While the project could inevitably be subject to delays, Musk appears to be set on conquering the second-smallest planet in the solar system.
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"I believe it is important to the future, ultimately to be out there among the stars," he said.
"It's not being a single planet species and moving planets, it's about being a multi-planet species and have life extend beyond the solar system and ultimately to other star systems."
"That's the future that's exciting. You need things like that to wake up in the morning. Life can't just be about solving problems, they have to be inspiring and make you glad to be alive."