Elon Musk described what it’d be like when we live on Mars, and it sounds like a death trap

Throughout the years we’ve heard of the race to colonize Mars and, tbh, it’s hard to distinguish what’s real and what’s science fiction. When scientists, futurists, and sci-fi fans throw around the phrase “We’re going to be living on Mars one day,” we kind of imagine greenhouses, harmony, and red rock, and yeah, that’s not happening. SpaceX founder Elon Musk spoke at a panel at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, March 11th, and confirmed that the first attempt to colonize Mars will basically be a death trap.

“For the people who go to Mars, it’ll be far more dangerous. It kind of reads like Shackleton’s ad for Antarctic explorers. ‘Difficult, dangerous, good chance you’ll die. Excitement for those who survive.’ That kind of thing,” Musk revealed at SXSW (via Business Insider).

That being said, he is 100% planning to colonize the planet as a backup for when he believes Earth will be devastated in a nuclear war, and with our current administration, we can’t say we don’t believe him.

"We want to make sure there's enough of a seed of civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back and perhaps shorten the length of the dark ages. I think that's why it's important to get a self-sustaining base, ideally on Mars, because it's more likely to survive than a moon base," added the SpaceX founder.

He even has a plan for the government on Mars: A direct democracy, not elected representatives, where people vote directly on issues. Well, that sounds quaint. Musk announced that he’s planning short trips to the planet in 2019 and would eventually like to put one million people on Mars, though there is no end-date for that secondary goal.

However, Musk also promised to be shuttling tourists around the moon via the Falcon 9 by 2014, and we’re still waiting on that functional hyperloop between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Not that the man isn’t a genius, but his projection dates have been pretty ambitious.

Here’s to the brave souls that Musk might one day take to Mars.