Elon Musk made a startling comment about the impending voyage to Mars, saying, "A bunch of people will probably die."
Elon was deep in conversation with Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation, when they talked about Musk's dream for humans to set foot on the Red Planet by 2026. NASA's projection was 2033.
Elon waxed a little poetic, saying, "Going to Mars reads like that advert for Shackleton going to the Antarctic. You know it is dangerous. It's uncomfortable, and it's a long journey."
And then, he lowered the boom ... "You might not come back alive, but it is a glorious adventure and it will be an amazing experience ... Yeah, honestly, a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning."
Elon's take is that the upside justifies the downside ... "For the first time in the four and a half billion year history of Earth it has been possible to extend life beyond Earth and make life multi-planetary."
He went on ... "Humanity is the agent of life and we have an obligation to ensure the creatures of Earth continue even if there is a calamity on Earth, whether it is man-made or a natural calamity - if you look at the fossil record there are many mass extinctions. It is about ensuring we pass that threshold where it is self-sustaining if some calamity prevents the ships from going there."
Musk, who was barefoot during the interview, ominously asked, "What comes first - a self-sustaining city on Mars or World War Three?"
BTW, Musk, who's going to host "Saturday Night Live" in a few weeks, wants to establish a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.