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Humans could be on Mars by 2024

Okay, we're bending the truth there: Elon "I'm not an evil genius really" Musk actually plans to send humans to Mars in 2024. Given the distances involved (around 225 million kilometres), they wouldn't arrive until 2025. 

The CEO of Tesla (the electric car company changing transport), SpaceX (the rocket company changing space) and mind behind HyperLoop (the transport system about to change, well, everything) took to the stage of California's Code Conference to talk about AI, neural interfaces and - more excitingly - actually going to Mars.

Musk outlined his roadmap to the Red Planet, suggesting that SpaceX could start launching cargo deliveries to Mars as early as 2018. These would put heavy, fuel-hungry packages of useful materials and supplies on Mars, ready for the first intrepid explorers - who Musk hopes would arrive a few years later. 

"If things go according to plan, [we] should be able to launch people by 2024 with arrival in 2025," said Musk.

In order to reach this goal, Musk and the SpaceX crew need to perfect its 'Falcon Heavy' rocket design - a huge rocket that could power enough humans and cargo to Mars to set up the first colony. They're also keen to continue developing rockets that they'll be able to reuse for future missions, massively reducing the cost of space missions: "Think of a pile of cash hurtling through the atmosphere," said Musk, "imagine it was going to burn up and smash into pieces. Wouldn't you try to save it?"

Just think, in nine years time we could be gathering around augmented reality TV sets, watching the first humans set food on the barren Martian soil. We hope someone is already starting to write the speech - "One small step" is going to take some beating. 

[Via: Mashable]

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