Friday, 25 May, 2018

Elon Musk: Short trips to Mars 'next year'

Tim McAlpine  Twitter Tim McAlpine Twitter
Grady Vargas | 12 March, 2018, 09:24

A last-minute addition to the SXSW conference, Musk was easily the biggest name on the program this year.

On Saturday, it was Elon Musk, who made an appearance at a panel hosted by "Westworld" creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

While admitting that his timelines often turn out to be way too "optimistic", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has claimed his company will conduct the first test flight of its giant Mars rocket early next year.

SpaceX also doesn't cut out the mistakes with this launch. He predicted the BFR would be ready to take to the skies next year, even if for only "short flights". However, because of its unmatched reusable rocket technology, lower launch costs, and easier access to space, SpaceX is seen as having the best shot at deploying a new generation of non-geostationary low-Earth orbit satellites in a cheap and timely fashion.

Mr Musk said he had to be the chief engineer for the Falcon 1 because he couldn't get any other suitable candidates to join the company, and he didn't want to risk his venture on engineers he felt weren't of the right standard. "But there is excitement for those who survive".

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He said some of the main focuses once humans arrive on Mars will be to build domes, power plants and places to grow crops.

But Earth may soon have bigger problems than a potentially devastating conflict.

"Actually, not many hands raised, by the way", Musk noted. He hit out at AI experts for thinking they "know more than they do" and discounting a singularity scenario where AI overrun our planet.

"This is a case where you have a very serious danger to the public, therefore there needs to be a public body that has insight and then oversight to confirm that everyone is developing AI safely - this is extremely important", he said. Yet Musk took his time in Austin to give the audience another wake-up call regarding a threat no amount of climate change measures or anti-war rhetoric can help. "I put the money into both, and thank goodness they both came through". "Once we have it, we'll have a sort of point of proof, something that other countries and companies will go and do".

"Last century we had two massive world wars, three if you count the Cold War, I think it's unlikely that we'll never have a world war again. this has been our pattern in the past".

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