"So, the fourth launch worked", says Musk.
He also warned that a colony on Mars wouldn't be an "escape hatch for rich people", but rather a new frontier. "Lots of things that are miserable and kind of get you down". "And I think there aren't that many people that want to go in the beginning because all those things I said are true, but there will be some who will, for whom the excitement of frontier and exploration exceeds the danger". "It kind of reads like (Ernest) Shackleton's ad for Antarctic explorers: hard, dangerous, good chance you'll die". He pointed out that living on the Mars is both risky and increases the chances of death but on the other hand, surviving on the red planet will be an excitement in itself. Particularly if there's another World War in our future, we need to make sure "there's enough of a seed of human civilization to bring human civilization back". "Once we have it, we'll have a sort-of point of proof, something that other countries and companies will go and do", he said.
While Mars missions are the ultimate goal for SpaceX, the rocket system should be capable of return trips to the Moon and space station resupply missions. He and SpaceX have yet to detail exactly how hypothetical Mars colonists will survive for months or years on end. People asked different questions ranging from the launch, politics, colonies on the red planet and more.
But Musk's not just thinking about doom and gloom.
In fact, Musk believes the spacecraft will take flight as early as next year, but only for short flights. Musk commented that people of Mars will form a direct democracy where all the people will be equally involved in the selection process rather than representative democracy followed in the USA where the selected representative shortlists his own team. The text of the laws should be short and easy to understand, he added.
"If the law exceeds the word count of 'Lord of the Rings, ' then something's wrong", Musk said. The bill came in at 503 pages and ran over 1,000 pages including the related conference committee report.
When asked about his motivation for entering the space industry, Musk explained that he felt that there was insufficient progress and investment being made to make space travel a reality.