Elon Musk has been talking about starting a society on Mars for years now. He's even suggested we use thermonuclear weapons to make the temperature on Mars hospitable enough for human life. But at the annual Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. on Wednesday, the SpaceX founder and CEO laid out a more detailed plot for putting people on Mars.
Musk told the audience that he plans on launching rockets carrying cargo to Mars beginning in 2018 before introducing humans to the planet in 2024 and 2025. He said he designed his Falcon Heavy, a space shuttle set to launch in late 2016, to hold enough people to start a civilization on Mars.
And he didn't stop there. Musk also explained that he has already decided on the type of government that will reign over Mars. "Most likely the form of government on Mars would be direct democracy, not representative," he explained. "So it would be people voting directly on issues. And I think that's probably better because the potential for corruption is substantially diminished in a direct versus a representative democracy."
Musk doesn't believe this governing system should last forever, though. His plan: "60 percent of people need to vote in a law, but at any point greater than 40 percent of people can remove it." Yeah, he's really thought this one out.
In case you're wondering, NASA's Mars plans are a bit more modest. In 2015, they released a report outlining a plan to get people to Mars by the 2030s. But like Musk, they also envision humans going there "not just to visit but to stay." So maybe Musk's vision isn't too far off after all.
SpaceX did not immediately return Complex's request for comment.