Billionaire Elon Musk said in 2011 that he would send a man to Mars within the next 10 years. Now, a decade later, the internet wants to know what happened to its promise.
Mr Musk has repeatedly said 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 The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Musk was pressed to give a timeframe for when humans might land on Mars. “In the best case, 10 years. At worst, 15 to 20 years,” Mr. Musk replied.
Now, just over 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.
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Since being shared, the post has also received hundreds of comments. Whereas an user jokingly wrote, “To help him keep that promise, we should send him as soon as possible,” another one said: “He’s been doing pretty well so far. Normal business forecasts are usually off by a year or two. “Hey @elonmusk, where are you on this Mars mission?” asked third. “Covid is slowing things down. Let’s give a liberal amount for 5 more years,” said Fourth.
SpaceX has made a lot of progress building its Mars rocket, but not fast enough to meet the original schedule. Earlier this year, Mr Musk revealed he had pushed back his target date to reach the red planet. Go to Twitterhe said he now considers 2029 to be the earliest date when humans could first walk on Mars.
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More recently, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX even talked more about his mission to Mars. In a tweet addressed to former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Mr Musk said he hoped to get people to Mars by 2029.
2029 seems to be a pivotal year. I would be surprised if we hadn’t ACTED by then. Hopefully people on Mars too.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 30, 2022
When asked by Pune-based technician Pranay Pathole if he was confident of completing the spacecraft’s first crewed mission to Mars before 2013, Mr Musk replied“Still early stages on this. Getting Starship into orbit reliably and then achieving full and immediate re-use of both stages is by far the top priority.
Notably, if Mr Musk’s target date slips much further into the 2030s, it will be very close to when US space agency NASA aims to send the first astronauts to Mars.