Future Martian leader Elon Musk is set to give a talk next week at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico in which he'll apparently be clarifying his plans for launching manned missions to Mars in the next decade and ultimately colonizing the red planet. As NBC News finds out, the title of Musk's talk is "Making Humans an Interplanetary Species."
Musk has been all about Mars lately, saying earlier this year that the SpaceX Red Dragon could be taking an unmanned mission there as soon as 2018 and that trip could ultimately help NASA in figuring out how to make a manned mission happen, which they say they're planning for in the 2030's. Musk has projected an earlier date than that, actually, saying in June that he wants to start sending people to Mars by 2024.
Musk was also asked about his Martian ambitions in this new Werner Herzog doc, in which Herzog amusingly said, "I would come along. I wouldn't have a problem."
As fans of the movie The Martian know, spacecraft have to travel at a high rate of speed to get to Mars, but then somehow slow down significantly to land on it, which will be one of the problems that needs figuring out, according to NBC.
Another thing that Musk has admitted hasn't been figured out is how to get back once you're there. Morbidly, he says, ""We put that in the fine print. [But] If you're going to choose a place to die, then Mars is not a bad choice."
This will of course start to sound like a totally reasonable choice if Trump because President. But stay tuned.