Elon Musk said Tuesday in a podcast with Lex Fridman that SpaceX could land a human on Mars in the next five to ten years.
Fridman, an AI researcher working on autonomous vehicles, human-robot interaction, and machine learning at MIT, interviewed Musk on his podcast and asked when Musk thought SpaceX would land a human on Mars.
“But the truly big leap, again in this category of seemingly impossible is to put a human being on Mars. When do you think SpaceX will land a human being on Mars?” Fridman asked.
Musk took about 20 seconds to think before replying, “Best case is about five years. Worst case ten years.” (RELATED: ‘Disk-Shaped Craft’ Spotted ‘Crashed’ On Mars)
Fridman further questioned Musk on what the determining factors would be to put a human on Mars. Musk replied that a major factor is the engineering of the vehicle, and that SpaceX’s Starship project would likely be employed to develop it.
Musk recently reported in a November email to SpaceX employees that the company was facing a financial crisis with the Starship Raptor engine production, according to Space Explored.
“What it comes down to, is that we face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we can’t achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year,” Musk reportedly stated in the email.