Elon Musk thinks a moon base would fire up public support for space

Elon Musk said “To really get the public real fired up, I think we’ve got to have a base on the moon.”

“Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would be the kind of moon base, and then getting people to Mars and beyond — that’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo that I think people are really looking for,” Musk told NASA ISS program manager Kirk Shireman, who interviewed him onstage at the conference.

Musk also said today that his tunneling company (The Boring Company) could aid in Mars colonization as well.

Advanced tunneling technology will also be in high demand on Mars, Musk said, citing the likely need to mine large amounts of ice and other natural resources. And Red Planet colonists may want to live underground, at least part of the time, to shield themselves from the relatively high radiation fluxes encountered on the Martian surface.

Mars tunneling machines would need to be redesigned to be superlight compared to the Earth tunneling machines.

There would also be some need for tunneling for bases on the moon. Tunneling on the moon could expand an existing underground volcanic tubes. The moon is exposed to space radiation since it has no atmosphere.