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PayPal founder plans a city on Mars

By Dan Wilson January 23, 2013 - 10:01 am

Elon Musk, the multi-millionaire founder of PayPal has big plans: he wants to found a city on Mars. Musk shared his vision at a meeting of the Royal Aeronautical Society earlier in the month.

He said he envisaged a settlement of 80k people and it would be a vegetarian society, dedicated to sustainable technology. He said he had waited 10 years to reveal his ideas and accepted that huge challenges need to be faced before such a settlement was possible.

Risks include deep-space radiation, physical problems such as bone decay and the possibility of toxic dusk. The size of the settlement too will be critical too say Musk: “Too few, and the gene and culture pool dries up. Too many and you risk civil war.”

Musk is no stranger to space travel. His Falcon 9 rocket delivers Nasa cargo to the International Space Station in the place of the Space Shuttle which was decommissioned in recent years.

  • 5 years ago

    Please can I go, as long as there is no:

    No war
    No Government
    No weapons
    No currency
    No religion

    It’s like a new start for everyone

    • JD
      5 years ago

      And probably – just my luck:

      No toilet paper.

  • 5 years ago

    Over the years there have been many suggestions that Planet Earth will sometime set up colonies on nearly Planets and then travel to nearby Stars(nearby in this context is an enormous distance several Light Years). In fact much of Science Fiction is based around this idea.

    Can it happen? No idea but Mr Musk’s ideas are very much in line with what others have said over the years.

    Would I want to go? No. Years ago my parents, who lived in Australia(after they emigrated from Cornwall) offered to sponsor me and my family moving to Australia. I turned it down because I do not do Hot very well(and they were always telling me the local temperature in Australia) but most of all The Great Western Railway never went there.

    Also he talks about vegetarian Society and I do like a good bit of meat(especially in a Cornish Pasty).

    So while I wish him the very best of luck I shall be staying here on Planet Earth(and very happy in Cornwall)

  • Darren
    5 years ago

    I would have jumped at the chance of moving to Aus. Cornwall however is ok- its sheltered a bit from the crap in this country. This country is seriously screwed. It pays to be on benefits in the UK. Business is funding the chav culture. We have the prospect of thousands or Bulgarians and Romanians flooding here when working regulations are relaxed next year. I go to my local supermarket and am acosted by Non-english speaking individuals wanting to clean my car. Crime is on the rise. We are a haven for religious extremist. Many towns are no go areas. When will it all end?

  • 5 years ago

    I was thinking about the idea of a “vegetarian” Society on Mars. I suppose they would have enormous “Green Houses” a bit like the Eden Centre in Cornwall located in an old China Clay Pit. I can almost imagine the Settlers going off to work wearing their Space Suits. Some with a Fork, Some with a Shovel, Some with a hoe or perhaps a rake over their shoulders. All singing as they walk down across the Martian Countryside “Hi Ho Hi Ho Its off to work we go”.

    I suppose the alternative is the Fruit and Veg Spaceship calling each day with boxes of tomatoes or bags of spuds and some very limp looking lettuces. As the Fruit and Veg truck that comes around the Villages(or did in days of yore) was invariably on its last legs and not so much Second Hand as probably tenth hand the Fruit and Veg Space Ship will be similarly clapped out.

    I an not an expert on Mars(except perhaps I have eaten rather too many of their Bars over the years) but would living on Mars require a High Energy Diet? Would that be possible living on a Vegetarian Diet unless you consume an enormous quantity or would it be supplemented by lots of pills. So many that you could always recognise a Martian because they would rattle as they walked?

    Just imagine a Martian coming home to Earth on holiday half starved because of the poor vegetable growing conditions on Mars. He would land at the Spaceport on Earth and immediately fall upon the decorative Flower Beds and eat all the Daffodils!

    Mind you just imagine if the proposed diet included meat and they wanted to take a herd of Cows to Mars. They would probably have more luck with Goats(at least they are supposed to eat anything-including if you are not careful-the Greenhouses).

    Science Fiction Writers have tried to convince us that one day it will be reality. When I was born in 1950 many things then considered Science Fiction are now Science Fact. So why not a Settlement on Mars. I expect it to happen. Just wonder if it will happen in my life time?

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    Why does the film Total Recall spring to mind when reading this? Or is it just me?

  • Robert
    5 years ago

    Bill Gates is using his billions to eradicate the world of polio and this idiot wants to build a city on Mars !!!

    • 5 years ago

      Landing on the moon was a bit the same – a waste of money… except that it also resulted indirectly in GPS, Communication advances, Satallite TV, Fire retardant materials, Smoke Detectors, Cordless power tools, Sun glasses, Freeze dried food, Weather reports, Non-stick frying pans and of course computer and miniturisation technology and accurate clocks.

      I wonder what landing on Mars could bring to human civilisation?

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