With NASA getting its budget slashed and space exploration a low priority for every politician not promising a moon base should they be elected, it’s easy to wonder who, if anyone, will carry the torch into this new century. It may be that other countries surpass us in the field of space exploration. Or it may be that the race for the final frontier will be pushed forward by eccentric rich folks. Such as, for instance, the “rocket entrepreneur” who believes we could make a round-trip voyage to Mars for as little as half a million dollars.
The wide-eyed dreamer in question is PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, who has partnered with NASA to help design new vehicles to transport crew and cargo to the international space station. Musk told the BBC that his Mars claims are supported by recent technological breakthroughs that are making the ambitious trip to the red planet more realistic and financially feasible.
We will probably unveil the overall strategy later this year in a little more detail, but I’m quite confident that it could work and that ultimately we could offer a round trip to Mars that the average person could afford — let’s say the average person after they’ve made some savings.