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Elon Musk, age 47, told "Axios on HBO" that he sees a 70% chance that he'll live to ride one of his SpaceX rockets to Mars. "I know exactly what to do," he said. "I’m talking about moving there."

The big picture: That prediction is dismissed as fantasy by some experts. But Musk said he can envision a flight as soon as seven years from now, with a ticket price of "around a couple hundred thousand dollars."

What he's saying: Musk shrugged off the objection that a Mars voyage could be an escape hatch for the rich for problems on this planet.

  • "Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than earth."
  • "Really the ad for going to Mars would be like [Sir Ernest] Shackleton’s [supposed] ad for going to the Antarctic" in the early 20th century, he said.
  • "It’s gonna be hard. There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space."

Between the lines: Even if you land successfully, Musk added, "you'll be working nonstop to build the base."

  • "So, you know, not much time for leisure. And even after doing all this, it's a very harsh environment. So ... there’s a good chance you die there."
  • "We think you can come back but we're not sure. Now, does that sound like an escape hatch for rich people?"

The bottom line: Musk said he'd unhesitatingly go.

  • "There’s lots of people who climb mountains. People die on Mount Everest all the time. They like doing it for the challenge."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

9 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.