Elon Musk: Moving to Mars would cost about $200,000

The CEO once said a self-sustaining Mars colony won't work if it's wildly expensive for each person to make the voyage.

Elon Musk: Moving to Mars would cost about $200,000
Image source: NASA Ames Research Center
  • Musk has said that he wants to keep the per-ticket cost of traveling to Mars roughly equivalent to the cost of a house in the U.S.
  • SpaceX plans to send a cargo mission to Mars in 2022, followed by a manned mission in 2024.
  • Musk said there's a 70% chance he'll travel to Mars. A recent survey suggests most Americans aren't quite as adventurous.

A ticket to the red planet aboard a SpaceX rocket will likely cost "a couple hundred thousand dollars," according to CEO Elon Musk.

That may be expensive, but it's a price point that would make the voyage feasible for people who aren't incredibly wealthy.

"If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high," Musk said last year.

The billionaire entrepreneur provided something of an update Sunday to Axios during its final episode of its limited documentary series on HBO, reaffirming that the company was aiming for that price point and denying that the voyage would be an "escape hatch" for the rich.

"Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than Earth," Musk said, comparing a hypothetical ad for the Mars voyage with Ernest Shackleton's ad for going to the Antarctic, which read: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success."

He added that it's unclear whether Mars inhabitants would be able to return to Earth. As of November 2018, SpaceX has an "aspirational goal" of sending a cargo mission to Mars in 2022, followed by a second manned mission in 2024.

Musk says he might go to Mars "for the challenge"

Musk told Axios there's a "70 percent" he'll make the voyage to the red planet. When asked why he'd in light of the dangers, Musk said, "There's lots of people that climb mountains. You know, why do they climb mountains? Because people die on Mount Everest all the time. They like doing it for the challenge."

Most Americans aren't quite as adventurous. When asked how likely they'd be willing to travel into space if it were free, 35% of Americans said "extremely likely" while 31% said "not at all", according to an Axios survey conducted in November.

Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Join Matthew Yglesias and Charles Duhigg at 1pm ET on Monday, September 28.

Should you grow a beard? Here's how women perceive bearded men

Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"

Photo Credit: Frank Marino / Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
  • Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
  • Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Keep reading Show less

Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.

Big Think LIVE

Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.

Keep reading Show less

Ultracold gas exhibits bizarre quantum behavior

New experiments find weird quantum activity in supercold gas.

Credit: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Experiments on an ultracold gas show strange quantum behavior.
  • The observations point to applications in quantum computing.
  • The find may also advance chaos theory and explain the butterfly effect.
  • Keep reading Show less

    3 cognitive biases perpetuating racism at work — and how to overcome them

    Researchers say that moral self-licensing occurs "because good deeds make people feel secure in their moral self-regard."

    Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
    Personal Growth

    Books about race and anti-racism have dominated bestseller lists in the past few months, bringing to prominence authors including Ibram Kendi, Ijeoma Oluo, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Robin DiAngelo.

    Keep reading Show less
    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast