Head of SpaceX and Tesla founder wants a Mars base to protect humanity in the event of a third world war.
Elon Musk says that when the next Dark Age arrives, the only way to preserve the human species will be to have colonies on Mars and the moon.
“There’s likely to be another dark age,” Musk told the crowd last week at the South By Southwest festival, (SWSX) “particularly if there’s another world war in Earth’s future. We want to make sure there’s enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back and, perhaps, shorten the length of the dark ages.” Musk’s comments came during an on stage conversation with Jonathan Nolan, the co-creator of HBO’s Westworld.
While it would be easy to paint Elon as the ultimate rich kid Doomsday prepper, his logical reasoning seems sound. “I’m not predicting that we’re about to enter the dark ages, but there’s some probability that we will, particularly if there’s a third world war…It’s important to get a self-sustaining base ideally on Mars, because Mars is far enough away from Earth that [should war or some other natural disaster befall the planet] the Mars base is more likely to survive than a moon base,” he said. “But I think a moon base and a Mars base that could perhaps regenerate life back here on Earth would be really important.”
Musk was also though at pains to point out that escaping to Mars or the moon was not a get-out-jail-free-card for the world’s wealthy elites. “The moon and Mars are often thought of as some escape hatch for rich people, but it won’t be that at all,” he said. “Really it kind of reads like Shackleton’s ad for Antarctic explorers … difficult, dangerous, good chance you’ll die, excitement for those who would survive.”
But Musk wasn’t just all about the survival of the species. His entrepreneurial spirit also shone through. He also said that he one day envisaged a Mars Colony that would need businesses to survive and prosper, a self sustaining outpost on Mars with a million people in as little time as 100 years.
“Mars will need everything from iron foundries to pizza joints to nightclubs,” he said. “Mars should really have great bars.”