It's a day that ends in "y", so Elon Musk is being asked to make a prediction about when human beings will land on Mars. This time, Musk said that we'll be on Mars in less than 10 years, which is definitely an ambitious target.
Musk made the prediction during a two-and-a-half-hour-long interview on the Lex Fridman podcast, and it is more or less in line with Musk's previous predictions.
When asked when he thinks SpaceX will land humans on Mars, Musk replied: "Best case is about five years, worst case 10 years."
The biggest hurdles for SpaceX to clear, Musk said, is engineering a vehicle that can optimize tonnage into orbit and then onto Mars. "Starship is the most complex and advanced rocket that's ever been made," Musk claimed, adding that "the fundamental optimization of Starship is minimizing the cost per ton to orbit and ultimately cost per ton to the surface of Mars."
Currently, he said, you couldn't even get to Mars for $1 trillion, so if you extrapolate this out, Musk hopes to reduce Starship operating costs by about $100 billion to $200 billion a year. Even by Musk's mercurial standards, this would be an unprecedented feat of engineering.
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