I’m Going To Come Clean: I Have No Idea Where The Hell Mars Actually Is

by Elon Musk

Many people today agree that the next big chapter in the story of the human species is setting foot on, and eventually inhabiting our nearest planetary neighbour, Mars. With the prospect of climate change disaster and nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads, becoming a multi-planetary species has become more than just an exciting, romantic project: it’s now a responsibility — a responsibility that I’m happy to help shoulder.

Getting to Mars will not be easy. I can tell you that I have never worked harder in my life than I have at SpaceX developing the launch and landing technology that will eventually get us to the red planet.

Which is why it’s extra painful for me to admit today that I’ve never looked into where the hell Mars actually is.

I’ve been so damned busy with building SpaceX and Tesla, studying the martian surface and figuring out the logistics of Mars colonization that I’ve never taken the time to read up on its whereabouts in our Solar System. As far as I’m concerned, that rusty rock could be anywhere.

Where is Mars, actually?

I’ve always said that putting humans on Mars is going to be tough. Landing safely, shielding humans from radiation and toxic dust, dealing with the social problems that will inevitably arise during extended missions and settlement—not to mention, discerning the location of that freaking ball of dust in the first place. These are all problems I haven’t solved yet.

Now don’t for a second think that this is me trying to make excuses or admitting that we can’t get to Mars. We’ve got the rockets. We’ve got the engineering horsepower. I’m going to get us to that planet if it fucking kills me.

I just wanted to be real with you guys and come clean about this so that there are no surprises down the road. Really, pinpointing where exactly Mars is in our Solar System is just one more thing to add to my endless list of things to do.

Anyway, if you guys see Mars anywhere or have any information about the whereabouts of that dust bucket of a planet, please let me know. Thanks.


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