SpaceX chief Elon Musk has once again been stating his ambitions to get to Mars, saying it is one of the few ways humanity could survive. Mr Musk referred to the Great Filter, stating we need to conquer it before we die out. The Great Filter is part of the Fermi Paradox which could explain why we have yet to encounter another civilisation in the Universe.
In 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi – the creator of the world’s first nuclear reactor – came up with a paradox which says due to the age and size of the universe there is bound to be a civilisation much more advanced than ours, which begs the question: “Why is it just us?”
The solution, many scientists argue, is once a civilisation reaches a certain size, it eventually kills itself off by destroying its planet, either through war with advanced weapons or natural disaster.
One way to conquer this filtering of life in the cosmos is to become multi-planetary.
Mr Musk is leading the charge in the quest to conquer the solar system – something he hopes will ensure humanity’s future place in the Universe.
The SpaceX and Tesla boss wrote on Twitter: “Becoming multi-planetary is one of the greatest filters.
“Only now, 4.5 billion years after Earth formed, is it possible.
“How long this window to reach Mars remains open is uncertain. Perhaps a long time, perhaps not.
“In case it is the latter, we should act now.”
SpaceX’s Starship will make it to Mars within the 2020s according to its owner, Mr Musk.
Mr Musk has said on Twitter: “SpaceX will be landing Starships on Mars well before 2030.
“The really hard threshold is making Mars Base Alpha self-sustaining.”
Mars Base Alpha is the code name for the first human base on the Red Planet.
However, Mr Musk has claimed that the first people to get there may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The SpaceX chief has previously said: “Getting to Mars, I think, is not the fundamental issue.
“The fundamental issue is building a base, building a city on Mars that is self-sustaining.
“We’re going to build a propellant plant, an initial Mars base – Mars Base Alpha – and then get it to the point where it’s self-sustaining.
“I want to emphasise that this is a very hard and dangerous, difficult thing, not for the faint of heart.
“Good chance you’ll die, it’s going to be tough going, but it will be pretty glorious if it works out.”