Elon Musk Wants to Take You to Mars

Space: the final frontier. Elon Musk: the man who wants to boldly go where no man has gone before.

OK, I confess to being a "space nut." But hey, at least I’m in good company along with the visionary tech entrepreneur, PayPal (PYPL) co-founder and Tesla Motors (TSLA) and SpaceX CEO.

This week, Elon Musk announced what is not only his most-ambitious undertaking ever … but perhaps the most-ambitious mission the human race has ever taken on.

That undertaking is the manned space flight to, and ultimately the colonization of, Mars — and roughly within the next decade.

That is indeed a bold plan. But if anyone can pull it off, it’s the man who created a new way of paying for things digitally … a new way to make electric cars luxurious, fast and cool … and the man who created the first viable privately owned rocket company.

The essence of Musk’s vision here is that there will be numerous giant, reusable rockets standing more than 300 feet tall that will eventually launch fleets of carbon-fiber spacecraft into orbit.

The boosters would then return to Earth, and blast off again into space with "tanker spaceships" that would refuel the initial vehicles … thereby enabling their journey to the Red Planet.

Speaking Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, Musk told the audience:

"This is not about everyone moving to Mars, this is about becoming multiplanetary … This is really about minimizing existential risk and having a tremendous sense of adventure."

A sense of adventure is something Elon Musk has plenty of. It’s also something I think every human being should have. And, there is no bigger adventure than human space travel.

Musk’s ambition knows few boundaries. And though he admits his timetable for the Mars travel is optimistic, he firmly believes it is possible to begin shuttling thousands of people between Earth and Mars sometime within the next decade.

Then in the decades ahead (maybe the next four to 10 decades), Musk sees Mars as home to a self-sustaining colony of a million people.


Now, aside from a sense of adventure ingrained in only the boldest of human explorers, why is Musk embarking on this journey?

Here Musk told filmmaker Ron Howard during an interview for National Geographic Channel’s MARS series:

"The future of humanity is fundamentally going to bifurcate along one of two directions: Either we’re going to become a multiplanet species and a spacefaring civilization, or we’re going be stuck on one planet until some eventual extinction event."

It is this kind of long-timeline thinking that is really impressive here, because obviously Elon Musk doesn’t think he’s going to be around in 50 years to live in a Mars colony.

(Click here to see an animated version of Elon Musk’s vision).

Yet that’s what visionaries tend to do. They tend to tackle long-term projects as if they were short-term problems.

By doing so, they get more done now than anyone would have thought they could have.

I call this a sense of urgency applied to a long-term goal.


Now, another aspect of this Mars plan that I think is so interesting is that it defies the traditional notions that space exploration can only be done via big-government super-science such as NASA’s original Apollo project.

Here Musk’s ideas represents a radical departure from NASA’s so-called "building-blocks approach" to space exploration.

As per a Wall Street Journal article on the Musk announcement:

Mr. Musk’s speech portends a space policy debate unlike any that has played out across the U.S. — or for that matter, in the capitals of other space-faring nations. The focus is shifting to whether such entrepreneurial initiatives, or a combination of private-public funding, are best suited to further deep space exploration.

And there you have it: the key to getting things done in society.

That is to say, you first need the individual spark of a brilliant mind with a vision of greatness.

Once you have that, and you definitely have that in Elon Musk, then it is OK to let the fiscal, scientific and logistic resources of government agencies such as NASA get involved.

Even Musk agrees here. He says that in the end, the ambitious Mars travel/colonization plan likely "is going to be a huge public-private partnership."

Finally, this topic is fascinating enough without having to bring in an "investable" element to the situation. Yet there is an investable angle here, or at least there likely will be at some point.

While SpaceX is not yet a public company, Musk’s baby is now estimated by some analysts to be worth more than $10 billion. That’s the value even with the recent mishap and still-unexplained explosion of the company’s flagship Falcon 9 rocket during routine tests about four weeks ago.

No doubt the ambitious Musk will, at some point, take SpaceX public the same way he took Tesla public. Since its IPO about six years ago, Tesla shares are up nearly 750%.

If SpaceX even comes close to replicating that feat, well, I think that’s an investable angle.


Are you as "space nut" like I am? Are you excited about the possibilities of becoming a multiplanetary species? I am curious to find out what you think, so please leave me a comment on our website or send me an e-mail.


Oil kept up Wednesday’s momentum, with WTI crude gaining 1.6% to close at a one-month high of $47.83. But this surge failed to lift U.S. stocks for a second day in a row. In Thursday’s session, the Dow lost just shy of 200 points to end the day 1% lower, weighed down by financials.

• Another up day for energy stocks: Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) gained 2%, after yesterday’s 5% gain. BP plc (BP) added 0.6%, after yesterday’s 4.3% surge. And Total (TOT) added 1% after yesterday’s 4.5% gain.

• It was the opposite story for the banks: The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) fell 1.4% as Wells Fargo (WFC) CEO John Stumpf returned to Capitol Hill and trouble brewed at two German financial institutions …

• All-time low for Deutsche Bank (DB): The embattled European banking giant that’s facing its own version of a "Lehman moment" slid 6.7% to close at $11.48. Compare that to the stock’s 52-week high of $30.82.

• And the second-biggest bank in Germany, Commerzbank, scrapped its dividend and cut some 20% of its workforce. Its shares fell 3% on the Xetra stock exchange in Frankfurt.

• Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in the second quarter of 2016, according to today’s third estimate. Profits from current production decreased $12.5 billion in the second quarter, compared with an increase of $66 billion in the first. (Economics and Statistics Administration)

• Pending home sales fell for the third month in a row, down 2.4% in August. The biggest slump was in the south, the largest housing market in the country, due to a lack of available properties.

• Congress handed President Obama the first veto override of his administration. After he vetoed a bill that would allow 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia, the House voted 348-to-77 to overturn the veto. The Senate voted 97-to-1.

Good luck and happy investing,

Brad Hoppmann
Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Your thoughts on “Elon Musk Wants to Take You to Mars”

  1. HI Brad

    Look, Lord knows, God knows, all this Elon Musk fantasy about colonizing in outerspace is NONSENSE!!! Not when we have near 100 million out of work in US ALONE!!!, Not when we have 30% plus of children and families on food stamps, not when we have millenniums living at home with mommy and daddy because they are swamped with college DEBT and lower paying jobs!!, no with our inner cities an economic and crime ridden DISASTER, not with the EUROPEAN SOVEREIGN DEBT CRISIS about to explode, not with Geo Political pressure at it’s highest levels in decades based on WAR cycles, no with China and the emerging markets imploding, etc..etc..etc…Maybe the explosion of his rocket is a little bit of “Divine Intervention” from the good humble Lord to focus on making life better on THIS planet first!!! Don’t even think about squandering precious capital to go on projects out to space…that sounds a little out to lunch to me!!!!!!!

  2. A real visionary doesn’t need taxpayer subsidies. Elon Musk’s projects (Tesla, SpaceX) would shut down if it wasn’t for Solyndra style sweetheart deals from Nevada, California, the feds, etc., while the typical business struggles under ever increasing taxes, licensing, regulations, inspections, etc. And after all that his cars catch fire and his rockets explode. I’d be much more impressed if he was risking his own money instead of mine.

  3. Musk might live long enough to get to Mars if we can do away with the FDA, AMA, CDC, etc and let places like CALICO at Google and people like Kurzweil and Diamondis and Khosla work on all their longevity anti-aging projects without the idiots hijacking it. CALICO (which I do not believe for one minute stands for Calif Life Company = a boring name more fit for life insurance) is working on gene expression and silencing of genes – when that is done, aging stops – they’re doing roundworms. Just one of many projects our billionaires interested in. Ignore Mark – he’s just going to waste billions on buildings, researchers who know how to con the system, cash cow projects and mainstream medicine his wife thinks works.

    So, if Musk can get to their work. he might live. Then he can buy the domain name I bought in 1998: http://www.GudieToMars.com (recently turned it into a site) It’s for sale. Anyone can make an offer but if you know Elon, ask him.

    And here is what CALICO really stands for – http://www.thesiliconvalleystory.com/google-chose-name-calico-to-disrupt-aging/

  4. Are you kidding ??? He can’t even launch a rocket without it blowing up !!!! Maybe HE should go to mars !!!!!!

  5. How refreshing to see someone finally pursuing a visionary idea and perhaps having the capacity to make it happen. I was an adolescent in the sixties reading Asimov, Heinlein, and any other science fiction I could get my hands on. Star Trek was an inspiration. School classes would stop so we could go to the science teachers room and watch Gemini launches. I took two years of Latin in high school and all I remember at this point is “Ad Astra per difficultaties.” I had no doubt that we would have a moon base if not more before 2001. What happened??? I am not a large investor, but if Musk wants to launch an IPO for a company going to Mars I will find a few $ to invest. I suspect I am not alone.

  6. It is Mr. Musk and others who brought us to the New World, brought us steam power, usable electricity, flight, the computer and Internet, and many other great advances. He is visionary and I applaud his efforts. Certainly I am concerned about government subsidies and of course the devil is in the details but nonetheless, I wish him and his SpaceX company well.

  7. Elon should commit in public and in writing that since Men Are From Mars, and Women Are From Venus, he will go to Mars with just other Men …and not use US Taxpayers Money to do it .. use his own money ..after the first trip, he can send back for some women from Venus – to expand his colony …1,000 rockets within the next decade .. really, the Shuttle never got out of “test phase” .. what is he smoking and wanting us to pay for? …~ Clark (BSME/Aeronautical from UC Berkeley College of Engineering 1966)

  8. He can take his public/private partnership crony capitalist ideas and shove them so far up his parasitic backside that he gets sent to Mars

  9. Who’s to say there won’t be an extinction event on another planet? We’ve managed to wreck much of our ecology on this planet. We should emphasize helping our own planet before zooming off to another.

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