Elon Musk Talks About Going to Mars in Ten Years

Tesla had an employee all hands meetings. It had several interesting leaks. Elon Musk said he may go to Mars in 10 years.

Gigafactory Berlin is getting approval for production in October.

Cybertruck will not be in volume production until 2023.

22 thoughts on “Elon Musk Talks About Going to Mars in Ten Years”

  1. He's said in the past that he's not going to go until the Mars colonization momentum is strong enough that it won't stop with his death or absence. So if he's willing to go in a certain timeframe, it's because he feels that Mars efforts will be robust by then.

  2. It is not an option. Some things can only be done micr0g. That is all we need to know to decide what to do. There have already been experiments done on ISS that, I predict, will be seen as the foundings of whole industries. Add in the likely advantage to anything that has the word
    "heavy" in its description, and, well, here we go! This industrial growth near Earth will help Mars visits. It will make $$$. Just like planned in the 70s, making Space Solar.

  3. I have defined ISMRU as a combo of the standard In *Space* Mfg and "Resource Use". You are the one who thinks ISRU means In Space Resource Use. It does not. It means In *Situ* RU, which is in Space ONLY if the Situ is in Space, which is so common that many are confused and in practice use that as "an eccentric definition for a standard term". Mars surface is NOT in Space, but one can certainly do ISRU on it. It is a counterexample to your usage.

    And, please, "space has a big advantage over planets, in that planets have very limited surface area." It has the biggie, too: micr0g.

  4. So, you think you're 'avoiding confusion' by adopting an eccentric definition for a standard term? Which definition just happens to have your own preferences built into it?

  5. You have everything almost exactly backwards. I have carefully defined ISMRU as "In *Space* Mfg and Resource Use" rather than the common In *Situ* to avoid this very confusion. Bezos does NOT want to use the Space resources where collected, the *site*, particularly if from Moon. Perhaps if you are good with where an asteroid happens to be. "Unlike Musk, he intends to use Space resources". That is, Musk intends to use NO Space resources. I would love to hear that I am wrong!!!!

    Now, if you claim that ISRU means that the site is always Space, because everything is always in Space, thus all ISRU uses Space resources, that is wrong. Earth stuff is ISRU. Unless you move it. "Space Resources" means NOT LAUNCHED. Not from Earth, not from Mars, not really from Moon, except that mass drivers and no atmos make it competitive with asteroids, which are in Space.

    As I have said, taken as a separate thing, Musk self sufficient Mars is strangely O'Neill. He does not rely on Earth or even cislunar, like O'Neill does not rely on launch. But we are not doing Musk plans. We are buying Musk rocket for ????? SLS plus whaaaaat??? For that part, forget Mars. ISS micr0g expansion to lunar orbit. Do useful stuff. Make money. Help the Earth. From Space.

  6. You were trying to imply that Musk had no plans to use resources from anywhere but Earth, don't try to wiggle out of it.

    As I keep saying, the biggest advantage Mars has over an empty orbit is that the mass you need to work with is already present, you don't need to ship it there. Musk's plans absolutely include ISRU, he'd just use the resources where they already are.

    If he were planning on digging the same dirt up and launching it into orbit around Mars, and using it there, you'd be applauding. Because he plans to use it where it already is, you complain.

    Sure, space has a big advantage over planets, in that planets have very limited surface area. But that's not a limit until you're using all of it…

  7. Sacks of inorganic fertilizer, (Think Miracle Gro.) are not a biological contamination hazard. If scattering the stuff about caused anything to spring to life, it would be because life was already there, the stuff is basically sterile to begin with, and can be completely sterilized.

  8. "where they already are" is on a planet, Mars. We are already stretching it by calling lunar resources Space resources, but that is because Moon has no atmos and can be treated as an asteroid, for this consideration, so is "Space" resource. Yes, Mars in in Space. So is Earth. Some people are able to pick the correct definition of common terms by context. Try it!

  9. Where did you get the idea that Musk doesn't intend to use space resources? Does he not intend to use resources on Mars? Is Mars not in space?

    Perhaps you mean he doesn't intend to launch space resources into orbit before using them, but instead plans on using them where they already are?

  10. Bezos sez "millions" when he means 2050-60, his lifetime BO caused. When he sez "billions" he means 2100, majority of people in Space. When he sez "trillions" he is usu misquoted down to "millions", but he means distant future, whole Solar System. Unlike Musk, he intends to use Space resources, so has a plan for these numbers. Tiny Mars, tiny Musk plans. And Musk doesn't even pretend to be anything but a load on the Earth economy.

  11. Mars has both advantages and disadvantages for reentry.

    The primary advantage is that the lower gravity means the atmosphere, while thin, is extremely deep, doesn't vary as rapidly in density with altitude. So it's easier to remain in a survivable density regime during reentry.

    Kind of variable atmosphere, though, depending on weather, I hear.

    The primary disadvantage is that terminal velocity would be much higher, about the speed of sound. So even with the reduced gravity you need to reserve more delta V for landing.

    But aside from that, the aerocapture and reentry maneuver might actually be easier for a ship than Earth.

  12. Looks like a reasonable schedule, conservative with 2 – 3 cargo missions prior to a human landing (the first one will probably be a bust). Assuming there's no delay due to a disaster or lack of technical maturity. Re-entry can be harder than expected, reuse and refueling might not end up being that easy nor cheap.

    So many imponderables. But humanity simply won't know if it can be done, if someone doesn't try it and improves upon actual results. That is, going ahead and daring to launch.

    Another factor to ponder is that for testing and improving the safety and hence, the viability of the schedule, every launch and landing in comparable circumstances counts.

    The first Martian Starships will be surely derived from Earth return capable ones, with a bit of Artemis HLS experience, mostly the internal life support systems and habitable spaces. That's why I think HLS is not a total waste nor a distraction. It's preparation for the interplanetary stage.

    The first trip to Mars, if it launches next year, will have little chance of success, because the landing on Earth will be very immature as well. As they gain more experience with that, their chances of success will improve.

    And the number of Starships will ramp up dramatically as well. I do believe in their plan to have hundreds of them in a relatively short time, of the different kinds we already know. But this also depends on the upcoming next steps of launching to space, returning, landing and repeating the feat.

  13. Mars launch windows come about every 26 months, and the next is Sept. 2022. If they're doing good with the Starship development schedule, they *could* launch something unmanned to Mars next year, to test reentry and landing. At least it's not out of the question. No reason that landing couldn't have expendable cargo that would be useful if the landing isn't a total failure. MRE's, hydroponics fertilizers, that sort of thing, all packaged to be usable even if scattered about after a crash. And perhaps some surveying satellites. Though that last would probably be better suited for a Falcon heavy launch.

    Then you have November 2024, January 2027, March 2029, and May 2031. That last would be within his 10 year time frame.

    So, in 2024 you launch the serious cargo, more supplies, some equipment, maybe prototype self-erecting habitats, and confirm that what you learned with the first attempt worked. Multiple flights this time.

    In 2027 still more supplies and equipment, and the next revision of the landing architecture. By then the Starship could be man-rated by Nasa, these ships would be living space packed full of supplies.

    In 2029, manned missions to start using the stuff you'd dropped in advance.

    And in 2031 Musk arrives in the second wave of colonists.

    I think it's a feasible schedule, but they will have to be doing well to launch that optional first flight next year.

  14. I take this is in Elon's time. But it can't be too far removed from real time, because in 10 years he'll be 60, and he won't have much time left to do it.

    Maybe up to his 65 or so, but at 70-ish or later, it would be too late (but he might still do it).

    As I said before: he shows the sense of urgency of someone who knows he has not that much time left to do all the things he plans. While people like Bezos seems to think they'll live forever.

    In the meantime, a lot of things need to happen. The first Starship landings with cargo, the first human landing, the first settlers, a basic city. That schedule of 10 years to go is really very stretched as it is.

  15. In 10 years he’ll be 60, his boys will be in their middle 20’s, his major enterprises should be mature and stable (and gigantic). It demonstrates his seriousness about Mars. It sets a timeline to extract himself from day to day management.

    Sounds like his (very educated) opinion is that Tesla genuine FSD, awaited for years will land in 3 weeks. Tesla is of course now very structured around iterative improvement of FSD once it lands using new Dojo and new versions of NN hardware, but he thinks in 3 weeks it will be already safer than an average human driver. Expect a price increase above $10k soon after.

    Model 2 with no pedals or steering wheel is a returning idea. Fully drive by wire controls that are plug and play, easy to add or remove on either side seem to me to be the next step. That has major advantages for Tesla in manufacturing standardization (no separate right and left hand drive vehicles) even if the steering wheel remains, and means any such vehicle can be switched to Robo form or back in minutes.

  16. Well, the Mars colony is important to him, and he's seen plenty of evidence that remote management really does not work.

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