SpaceX and Tesla head Elon Musk was on Joe Rogan’s podcast for the third time and used the opportunity to explain more about the need to explore deep space. The central philosophy of Elon Musk’s pioneering spaceflight company SpaceX is to make life multi-planetary.
This is partly motivated by existential threats such as an asteroid collision on a colossal-enough scale to wipeout life on Earth.
Elon Musk addressed the importance of exploring the stars during a marathon three and a half hour-long chat.
He said: “On a galactic timescale, even with sub-light [speed] travel, you could absolutely colonise the whole galaxy – even some of the neighbouring galaxies.
“Even [without] new physics, you could absolutely colonise the entire galaxy. [We would] just hop from one solar system to the next.”
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Joe Rogan then asked whether he believed he viewed such space mission as an “imperative, that needs to happen if the human civilisation is going to survive?”
Elon Musk replied: “We are just so subjective to natural disasters and our own folly.
“It is not about our own species. There have been some real doozies, like massive meteors, supervolcanoes, continents moving all over the place and Earth being a snowball then super-hot.
“If you read the geological history of Earth, it is very long and complicated.
SpaceX is already plotting to launch its SN10 prototype of Starship – considered to be a game-changer for space travel.
This will be a fully-reusable transport system capable of carrying up to 100 people to Red Planet Mars – and even beyond.
His system has been conceived to be fully-reusable, meaning the principal hardware elements are not discarded in the sea or allowed to incinerate in the atmosphere, as happens with some other launch systems, but are instead recovered from space.
Starships can then be refurbished and flown again, slashing the cost of the whole enterprise in the process.
The meandering conversation also saw the pair discuss his equally-remarkable plans for Tesla.
Elon Musk told Joe Rogen he wants the upcoming Tesla Roadster to hover six feet above the ground.
However, he admitted the challenge is understanding how this can be achieved “without, you know, killing people.”
He also wishes to incorporate SpaceX cold-gas thrusters to double as rocket thrusters in next-generation Teslas, which can be disguised behind license plates.
Musk said: “At a minimum, I’m confident we could do a thruster where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there would be a rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three tonnes of thrust.”
And finally, he revealed plans for an electric Tesla van in the not too-distant future.
Although battery technology and cell supplies are not yet advanced enough for a van to become a reality, Elon Musk confirmed a van with a solar panel on the roof could son become a reality.
He said: ”I think that would be great. Like a van that even if the apocalypse happens, you can still drive it around.”