Billionaire Elon Musk in 2011 had said that he would put a man on Mars in the next 10 years. Now, a decade later, the internet wants to know what happened to his promise.
Mr Musk has repeatedly said that he wants to make humanity a “multi-planetary species” by establishing a colony on the Red planet. His spacecraft engineering company, SpaceX, is developing a prototype rocket capable of carrying crew and cargo to Mars and beyond.
— Wild Geerters (@steinkobbe) May 30, 2022
In April 2011, during an interview with Wall Street Journal, Mr Musk was pressed to give a time frame as to when humans could land on Mars. “Best case, 10 years. Worst case, 15 to 20 years,” Mr Musk responded.
Now, a little more than 10 years later, the interview has resurfaced online. A Twitter user even shared a screenshot of Musk’s quote, which has now gone viral with over 36,000 likes and nearly 3,000 retweets.
Since being shared, the post has received hundreds of comments as well. While one user jokingly wrote, “To help him keep that promise, we should send him asap,” another said, “He’s doing pretty good so far. Normal business predictions are usually a year or two off.” “Hey @elonmusk, where are you on that Mars mission?” asked third. “Covid slows things down. Lets give a liberal amount of 5 more years,” said fourth.
SpaceX has made a lot of progress in building its Mars rocket, but not quite fast enough to meet the initial timeline. Earlier this year, Mr Musk revealed that he has pushed back his target date for reaching the Red planet. Taking to Twitter, he said that he now sees 2029 as the earliest date humans might first step on Mars.
More recently, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO even spoke more about his Mars mission. In a tweet addressed to former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Mr Musk said that he was hopeful of getting people on Mars by 2029.
2029 feels like a pivotal year. I’d be surprised if we don’t have AGI by then. Hopefully, people on Mars too.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 30, 2022
When Pune-based techie Pranay Pathole asked him how confident he was of completing the starship’s first crew mission to Mars before 2013, Mr Musk responded, “Still early stages on that. Getting Starship reliably to orbit, then achieving full & immediate reusability of both stages is by far top priority.”
Notably, if Mr Musk’s target date slips much further into the 2030s, it will be very close to when the US space agency NASA is aiming to send the first astronauts to Mars.