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Elon Musk in a recent interview said that in the worst case scenario, it would be about a decade before SpaceX could send humans to Mars. However, the main limiting factor right now is money, which he said is still too expensive to send anyone to the Red Planet at the moment.
Host Fridman asked Musk when SpaceX would send humans to the Red Planet. Musk did not respond immediately, but took nearly 20 seconds to think, after which he said that in the best case it would be about 5 years and the worst case 10 years.
A decisive factor in sending humans to Mars was vehicle design. Musk said: “Starship is the most complex and advanced rocket ever built”. The SpaceX CEO added that Starship is optimized on the basis of minimizing the cost per ton of items put into orbit and ultimately the cost per ton to the Martian surface.
For now, Musk says money is the limiting factor. “You can’t go to Mars for a trillion dollars. No amount of money can get you a ticket to Mars.”, he said.
Musk says he doesn’t just want to plant a flag and leave footprints on Mars, and not come back for 50 years, like we did with the Moon.
Musk once said on Twitter that SpaceX aims to land Starship on Mars before 2030, he said the really hard part would be building the first self-sustaining base. By 2050, Musk hopes to have a million people living on Mars.
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