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Speaking at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union the entrepreneur pointed out that now is window where we should absolutely be colonising Mars.
"Now is the first time in the history of Earth that the window is open, where it's possible for us to extend life to another planet," said Musk according to Space.com.
"That window may be open for a long time — and hopefully it is — but it also may be open for a short time,"
Of course time is relative, and in Musk's head he's talking about our own lifetime and beyond, in fact he's thinking about a window so big that even Musk doesn't think he'll be alive to see human's land on Mars.
"It will be super hard to do this and it will take a long time. I don’t expect to live to see it but I think if we aim for that objective we (our species) will be ok."
Moving on to the prospect of alien life on Mars Musk was especially candid pointing out that alien life, if it did exist, was probably hidden deep within the surface of the planet where it would be protected from the Sun's radiation.
With such a weak atmosphere anything attempting to live on the surface of the planet (humans especially) would need to have some form of protection.
It is in fact one of the key hurdles that NASA and other space agencies are trying to overcome, along with of course the small matter of travelling there in the first place.