Man of the people and the world’s richest human, Elon Musk, has suggested that a SpaceX ticket to Mars costing $100,000 would be affordable for “almost anyone.”
Considering that many people are struggling to even heat their homes or fill up their gas tanks at the moment, some have pointed out that this price tag is a little ambitious for the vast majority of Earth-bound humans. However, beyond these comments from the billionaire's ivory tower, Musk may need to work on his sales pitch to make living and working on Mars sound more enticing.
In an interview with the head of TED, Chris Anderson, posted on Monday, the founder and CEO of SpaceX talked at length about one of his favorite interests: a mission to build a self-sustaining city on Mars.
“If moving to Mars costs, for argument’s sake, $100,000, then I think almost anyone can work and save up and eventually have $100,000 and be able to go to Mars if they want,” Musk said.
“We want to make it available to anyone who wants to go.”
Musk added that many people may opt to buy their ticket through some kind of sponsorship scheme or loan, but he also estimates that only a small percent of humanity will actually want to take the journey.
To achieve the goal of a self-sustaining Martian city, Musk believes there would need to be around 1 million people living and working there. He hopes to have a fleet of around 1,000 Starships that can each deliver 100 or so people to our planetary neighbor every 2.2 years when the journey is most economical.
According to his latest estimation made in March 2022, he hopes that humans may first set foot on the Red Planet around 2029 — a date pushed back from his earlier prediction of 2024. If all goes to plan, Musk suggests his vision of en masse fleets to Mars could start during the 2030s. Whether SpaceX will reach this extremely ambitious target remains to be seen.
Regardless of the exact date, don’t expect first-class travel if you’re planning on making history as one of the first humans on Mars.
"Especially in the beginning, Mars will not be luxurious,” he said.
"The sales pitch for going to Mars is: ‘It's dangerous, it's cramped, you might not make it back, it's difficult, it's hard work.' That's the sales pitch,” Musk said.
“But,” he laughed, “it will be glorious.”