So, is it going to happen?
It’s easy to be cynical about all this. Will it ever happen? Who knows. Is it fun to think about? Sure. Will it inspire some people to get involved with spaceflight? Maybe.
People will say Musk had similar detractors when he first started SpaceX. That’s true. But things are different. Before, he was entering a market with known technologies to build a new rocket.
Now, he wants to create something never done before. He wants people to agree to go to Mars to die. He wants hundreds of billions of dollars to create a science fiction-esque rocket and spaceship.
Musk, himself, is no stranger to science fiction. He even wants to name the first spaceship Heart of Gold, after the famous ship in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
At the moment, though, you'd be forgiven for thinking this sounds like a fanboy's wishlist for the future, albeit a very rich fanboy.