Elon Musk has made a name for himself in recent years as a man with a vision for the future. Whether it’s electric cars to drive to work, tunnel boring machines to alleviate traffic, solar shingles for your house, or reusable space rockets intended to help bring mankind to the stars, Musk continues to push the envelope of what people tend to believe private companies are capable of.
Although some of his claims have seemed almost silly at times (landing launched rocket stages on drone barges for re-use still sounds almost silly) he has repeatedly followed through on his claims, or at least demonstrated the capacity to make some of the more grandiose ones attainable in the near future. In the years to come, however, Musk will face the largest challenges he may have come across yet, as he sends paying customers on a trip around the moon, a feat accomplished by only one other organization in all of history, but he already has his sights set much further away than lunar orbit.
While some CEOs might relay their intentions to board members behind closed doors, Musk has decided to put his plans for space out into the world – releasing an extensive 16-page explanation of his vision for the space travel of the near future, as well as some of the motivations that keep driving him to look toward the stars.
“I think there are really two fundamental paths. History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event,” Musk writes to open his commentary entitled “Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species.”
“I do not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event. The alternative is to become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species, which I hope you would agree is the right way to go.”
Musk’s manifesto lays out plans for reusable rockets, such as those his company, SpaceX, has already demonstrated in use, ferrying loads of fuel into orbit, where ships lay in wait to make the trip to Mars.