Elon Musk wants to go into space by 2021

Image: Elon Musk
Elon Musk flashes a smile during the StartmeupHK Festival. (Credit: InvestHK via YouTube)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he has his heart set on going into space himself, perhaps in the next four or five years, and organize the first flights to Mars by 2025.

Musk’s travel timetable came out this week during Musk’s chat at the StartmeupHK Festival in Hong Kong. The 44-year-old billionaire said he’d unveil his detailed plan for sending settlers to Mars in September at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. That means the SpaceX fans who have been buzzing about the Mars Colonial Transporter may have to just keep buzzing for another eight months or so.

The StartmeupHK talk was as wide-ranging as Musk’s interests, which take in electric cars (as Tesla Motors’ CEO), solar power (as Solar City’s chairman) and the potentialuses and misuses of artificial intelligence (as a backer of the OpenAI foundation). That’s all in addition to his focus on spaceflight and humanity’s interplanetary future.

Musk introduced yet another theme: the prospects for creating brain-computer interfaces that would let you store and retrieve images and other information directly from implants in your head.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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