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Elon Musk Says He’ll Send A Million People To Mars By 2050

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During a flood of Twitter comments this week, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk gave some interesting insight into his plans for the development of the planet Mars. By far the most astounding comment made in his Twitter storm on Thursday, was his claim that a million people will be living on Mars by the year 2050. He has made similar predictions in the past, but never with plans as specific as the ones he gave this week.

Elon musk

Photo: SpaceX

Musk said that the space missions to Mars must be accessible and inclusive, so as to allow anyone to go if they want. Musk said that loans should be made available for those who are unable to come up with the money up front. When people asked if they would have to work off the loan once they got to Mars, Musk replied, “Yes. There will be a lot of jobs on Mars!”

He even seemed to have all of the complicated math figured out, as shown in the tweets below.

As usual, Musk’s plans are beyond ambitious, but even if a fraction of this goal is completed, it will still be an incredible feat and turning point in human history. In Twitter conversations that followed with curious space enthusiasts, Musk explained that his plan for traveling to the red planet would involve taking advantage of the orbits in the solar system, which bring Earth a reasonably close distance to Mars every 26 months or so. He says that he plans to send 1,000 Starships into orbit when the planets are close together to save time and fuel. Still, even with these considerations, experts estimate that it would take months for humans to reach the red planet from earth.

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Earlier this year, the Space-X CEO reiterated his earlier publicized plan to terraform Mars with nuclear detonations. Musk believes that detonating nuclear devices over both of the planet’s poles would release enough carbon dioxide to warm the atmosphere and help bring it closer to the conditions experienced here on Earth. As it stands now, much of the carbon dioxide on Mars is locked in frozen reserves under the planet’s surface.

However, there are many experts in the scientific community who disagree with Musk about his plans for the red planet, especially the nuclear option. In one study published in Nature, scientists suggested that there is very little chance that Mars has the needed levels of CO2 to adequately warm the planet. Furthermore, some researchers say that the atmosphere of the red planet is far too thin to retain any of the CO2 that would be released through a nuclear detonation.

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Despite all of the disagreement within the scientific community, Musk is proceeding forward with confidence just as he has with his other endeavors. The billionaire says that his ambitions in space are the reason why he is accumulating so many assets here on earth. As with his other projects, they are extremely controversial, with people very enthusiastic on both sides of the argument. What do you think?

Michelle Williams is a New York native and Cornell University alumni currently living in Los Angeles and working as a journalist for numerous Midialab ventures. Williams began her career working as a copy editor for a large television production firm and then moved on to entertainment writing after developing some industry contacts in LA.

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