Elon Musk: we must put people on Mars to survive

Both NASA and SpaceX have their eyes on Mars, both for seemingly very different reasons. While NASA is busy researching the planet to find out what secrets it holds, Elon Musk is looking towards a future where we establish human colonies on the Red Planet. Such a mission, he says, is vital for the future of humanity.

Musk recently talked about this in an interview with Ross Andersen, who visited Musk at his office at SpaceX to talk about the future of space and its exploration. At the heart of it all is how Musk feels about Mars, which he says is as important to humanity as eliminating diseases and poverty. It is the very safeguard of our existence.

If some terrible thing — a disease, an asteroid, whatever it may be — swoops in and destroys human life on Earth, having a multi-planet existence will ensure that the human race does not die out. He sees the beauty in humans and our existence, and makes that clear during the interview, saying:

"Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth's surface. They say things like, 'Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around.' They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I'm not in that school. I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future."

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