In an interview with the Washington Post last week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk – who attended Queen’s University in the early 1990s – stated he foresees using his space launch technology to send people to Mars within 10 years in the “best case scenario” and worst case in 15 to 20 years.
The PayPal co-founder created SpaceX in 2002 and was awarded a $75 million by NASA this year to construct a spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts. It also had a successful orbital launch of its cargo carrying Falcon 9 rocket last June.
In the Post interview, Musk indicated his intention for SpaceX to make life multi-planetary, and would like to see a self sustaining base on Mars, adding “We want to be the shipping company that brought people from Europe to America or the Union-Pacific Railroad. Our goal is to facilitate the transfer of people and cargo to other planets.”
Elon Musk emigrated to Canada, his mother’s homeland, from South Africa in 1989. He soon enrolled as a student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, but left midway through his undergraduate education in 1992 – lured away by a scholarship offer from the University of Pennsylvania.
Musk is also the CEO of Telsa Motors – makers of the electric Roadster sportcar – and was the inspiration for the Tony Stark character in the Iron Man movies.