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."

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Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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