Right after the folks at NASA successfully landed their Curiosity rover on the red planet, entrepeneur and real-life Tony Stark made it clear that he'll be there between 12 and 15 years from now. "We know it's possible to get there," he said, "You would be moving to Mars, so a round trip ticket, it has to be no more than half a million dollars, so roughly, a middle-class house in California, and at this point, I would say, I know it's possible." He let it be known via Nightline that he was confident "at this point" that it could be done, that people would be living on Mars sometime in the future, and that it's our "life raft" for the future of the species.
Musk's company SpaceX recently became the first 3rd party (non government-run) group to successfully dock with the International Space Station and is also currently working with NASA to send more ships to NASA equipment in the future. This next-generation space-race has SpaceX and a set of other interested parties looking to profit from the final frontier as fast as possible. With that and the news that we are, indeed, on Mars once again, made a situation in which Musk HAD to make a comment.
"I'm confident at this point that it can be done. I think we'll be able to send, probably, the first people to Mars in roughly 12 to 15 years. That's my estimate." - Musk
The plan at the moment, should Musk's initiative line up with the reality of tech in the day, is to colonize the planet and terraform for the future of humanity.
"Mars is the only place in the solar system where it's possible for life to become multi-planetarian. We could make Mars like Earth…it's more than our life raft, it's like backing up the biosphere. ... I think it would be the most difficult thing that humanity has ever tried to do." - Musk
For those of you who are fans of the Entertainment part of this equation, a bit of trivia: Musk's SpaceX research and design lab appears in Iron Man 2 as parts of Stark Industries. Musk appears in the film as well, speaking with Stark about the Merlin engines (real-life tech made by SpaceX) as well as electric jet. Everything is achievable through technology!
Check out the timeline below to see more Musk adventures as well - he's going places and we're going with him. For science!