Philip Metzger, NASA, answers the question on Quora
Philip manages a NASA lab that develops tech for “living off the land” on the Moon or Mars or asteroids. That includes mining and processing local resources like water ice or oxygen extracted from soil minerals. Elon has sent his people to visit my lab several times to start up a collaboration with us on these technologies. Philip believes it is completely feasible. No miracle inventions are required. No new physics. Just straightforward engineering and a modest budget for the development cost. Philip’s personal opinion (not representing the views of NASA or the federal government) is optimistic. Elon’s organization has demonstrated efficiency, creativity, and sustained drive. He has super smart people working for him. He knows what is required to be successful. He is doing all the right things.
Dolly Singh used to work at Spacex in talent acquisition.
Dolly knows Elon — well. Elon’s obsession with Mars is no PR scam, but something the folks at SpaceX are giving their blood and sweat to achieve.
You have no idea how much design and planning is already underway.
Dolly wouldn’t deny he has an extremely healthy dose of ego, and seems to be enjoying the limelight of late but Mars is about legacy for him and his dedication and passion for that mission is one no one who actually knows him would ever question.
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