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SpaceX Mars travel teaser video

Elon Musk says first travelers to Mars must be 'prepared to die'

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Who's excited to fly to Mars?!

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, presented a plan Tuesday for how his rocket company expects to one-day blast humans off this rock and onto Mars.

After pulling the curtain back on renders of SpaceX's proposed 400-foot Mars spaceship (which would be the largest spacecraft ever built), Musk explained that the vessel will be able to reach the red planet in anywhere from three to six months and carry roughly 100 people.

The first hundred carried, Musk later clarified, will of course have to be "prepared to die."

Elon Musk says first travelers to Mars must be 'prepared to die'

WATCH | Elon Musk says first travelers to Mars must be 'prepared to die'

It would be, basically, are you prepared to die? Then, OK, you're a candidate for going.
Musk on whom the first travelers to Mars should be

"I would suggest not sending children"

"I think the first journeys to Mars are going to be really very dangerous," Musk began an answer during the Q&A section of the Mars travel presentation in Mexico.

"The risk of fatality will be high ... So I would suggest not sending children," he went on. "It would be, basically, are you prepared to die? Then, if that's OK, you're a candidate for going."

Musk predicts SpaceX will launch its first flights to Mars sometime in the mid-2020s.

SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

WATCH | SpaceX's Mars travel teaser video

It's more complicated than simply blasting off and going

Some danger in the first rounds of SpaceX Mars travel is due to fine-tuning all the, among other things, fuel hand-offs involved in the long trip.

SpaceX's will get its yet-to-be-named Mars craft the fuel it needs to cover its 34-million-mile trip (at 62,000 miles per hour) by shooting it into Earth's orbit mostly empty of cargo. It will hold there for fuel-carrying rockets to make trips up to stock it completely before flying away from our planet. 

The Mars craft will also carry solar panels.

SpaceX Mars spacecraft
(SpaceX)

"It's quite big," Elon Musk

Mars colonization is a long (dangerous) process

SpaceX's enthusiasm for sending people to Mars (and possibly losing some lives in the process) comes from the idea that Earth is in danger of "an extinction event," Musk said, and "the alternative is to become a spacefaring species."

After the first and most dangerous passengered trips to Mars are out of the way, Musk and SpaceX believe that, using its giant reusable Mars spacecraft, it should take 40 to 100 years worth of shuttling people over to the crated planet to begin to colonize it.

SpaceX knows about dangerous launches

Like most rocket-building organizations, SpaceX has suffered its share of fiery setbacks -- including a launch pad explosion this month -- though none yet where any lives have been lost. So Musk's grim "prepare to die" outlook on Mars travel may be no understatement.

As president of Explore Mars Artemis Westenberg told Circa in a recent interview: "Space is hard."

For more news, check out today's 60 Second Circa. 

Elon Musk says first travelers to Mars must be 'prepared to die'

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