CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk has predicted that humans may colonize Mars and establish a self-sustaining civilization within a few decades. The prediction was made by the billionaire after a Twitter user questioned Musk about the “estimated timeframe for creating a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.” Musk replied to the inquiry, saying “20 to 30 years from first human landing if launch rate growth is exponential. Assumes transferring ~100k each rendezvous and ~1M total people needed.”
Musk frequently tweets about space travel and makes suggestions about establishing human civilization on other planets. He hinted at plans to visit Mars in March saying that a crewed journey to the planet may take place as early as 2029. In 2016, he told a gathering at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, that he planned to develop a rocket to take people to the planet’s surface to establish a permanent metropolis.
In early July, a prototype detonated while being tested on the ground, putting the development of the rocket that might eventually send a human colony to Mars at risk. It’s unclear if the accident would affect Musk’s plan for the rocket to take its first unmanned orbital mission later this month.
While no country has attempted a human landing on Mars, three nations—the United States, China, and the former Soviet Union—have successfully landed rovers there. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine prevented Europe and Russia from carrying out their plans to send another rover to Mars to look for evidence of life.