Elon Musk Would Be ‘Surprised’ if Humans Aren’t Landing on Mars ‘Within Five Years’

by Michael Freeman

Ever the space enthusiast, Elon Musk isn’t shy in talking about our future beyond Earth. According to him, it may come much sooner than you think, stating he’d be “surprised” if we weren’t landing on Mars “within five years.”

Last year, Time Magazine named Elon Musk their Person of the Year. Sitting down with the publication, the two parties discussed politics, the economy, and of course, space. Being the man behind SpaceX, he naturally has lofty expectations and ambitions for the future. Setting his sights on Mars, he thinks humanity will land there sooner as opposed to later. In his words, “I’ll be surprised if we’re not landing on Mars within five years.”

Hoping humanity will do so aboard his Starship model, Musk expects the model will be able to loop around the moon as early as 2023. Beyond that, he hopes one day these rockets will carry 100 people at a time to Mars, where they can be refilled with fuel manufactured on the planet.

This is only the start of what Musk sees happening, stating he envisions a self-sustaining city with solar-powered hydroponic farms, CNBC reports. As if that’s not enough, he also discussed bringing a glorified Noah’s Ark to the Red Planet. “The next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there,” Musk told Time. “Sort of like a futuristic Noah’s ark. We’ll bring more than two, though — it’s a little weird if there’s only two.”

However, space experts don’t find these claims to be feasible. Professor Greg Autry of Arizona State University, for instance, doesn’t think reaching Mars is possible until 2029. Further, others don’t believe Mars can sustain long-term human settlements at all.

Elon Musk Discusses How a Mars Government Should Work

We often discuss finally getting to Mars and settling there, but another big subject is the planet’s government. In a recent interview, Elon Musk discussed how he believes the government on the planet should work.

Appearing on the Lex Fridman podcast, Lex Fridman and Musk talked about some heavy-hitting subjects. After humorously discussing cookies on websites, the two segued into wars and laws. Talking about some of our country’s pitfalls regarding the latter, Musk then delved into how he believes a Mars government should function. Specifically, he wants something similar to the United States, but with a more direct and efficient system in place for voting and laws.

One of Musk’s biggest complaints with our government is representative democracy since it can easily lead to corruption. With direct democracy, the people themselves directly have a say in laws passing, rather than representatives doing it for them. Fridman added this would help the government be more transparent and open too.

Musk also criticized how long laws last here. Though our country can easily implement new laws, eliminating outdated ones is a long, drawn-out process. He thinks we should actively remove old laws then or even place a time limit on them to prevent them from becoming archaic.