Elon Musk's SpaceX has transformed the launch industry, and is working to make Mars colonization a reality within the next decade. Scroll down to read the quotes, or watch Elon Musk's September 2016 talk on Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species.

Feel free to let me know in the comments what your favorite quote is. Enjoy!

  1. "When starting SpaceX I thought the odds of success were less than 10%, and I just accepted that I would probably just lose everything. But that maybe we would make some progress. If we could just move the ball forward, even if we died some other company could pick up the baton and keep moving it forward. So that would still do some good." (Sep, 2016 | Source)

  2. "Oddly enough, I actually think the odds [of a Mars colony] are pretty good. At this point I am certain there is a way. I’m certain success is one of the possible outcomes for establishing a self sustaining Mars colony, in fact a growing Mars colony. I’m certain that it’s possible. Whereas until maybe a few years ago I was unsure whether success was even one of the possible outcomes." (Sep, 2016 | Source)

  3. "In terms of people going to Mars, I think this is potentially something that could be accomplished in about 10 years, maybe sooner, maybe 9 years. I need to make sure SpaceX doesn’t die between now and then, and that I don’t die. Or if I do die, that someone takes over who will continue that." (Sep, 2016 | Source)

  4. "SpaceX is only 12 years old now [as of 2014]. Between now and 2040, the company’s lifespan will have tripled. If we have linear improvement in technology, as opposed to logarithmic, then we should have a significant base on Mars, perhaps with thousands or tens of thousands of people." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  5. "If the objective was to achieve the best risk adjusted return, starting a rocket company is insane. But that was not my objective. I had certainly come to the conclusion that if something didn’t happen to improve rocket technology we would be stuck on earth forever. And the big aerospace companies had no interest in radical innovation. All they wanted to do was make their old technology slightly better every year, and sometimes it would actually get worse." (Sep, 2016 | Source)

  6. "There needs to be an intersection of the set of people who wish to go [to Mars], and the set of people who can afford to go. And that intersection of sets has to be enough to establish a self-sustaining civilisation. My rough guess is that for a half-million dollars, there are enough people that could afford to go and would want to go. But it’s not going to be a vacation jaunt. It’s going to be saving up all your money and selling all your stuff, like when people moved to the early American colonies." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  7. “Even at a million [people living on Mars], you’re really assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  8. "I’d like to go [to mars], but if there is a high risk of death, I wouldn’t want to put the company in jeopardy. I only want to go when I could be confident that my death wouldn’t result in the primary mission of the company falling away." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  9. "Rockets are the only form of transportation on Earth where the vehicle is built anew for each journey. What if you had to build a new plane for every flight?" (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  10. “What I’m trying to do is to make a significant difference in space flight and help make space flight accessible to almost anyone.” (Mar, 2012 | Source)

  11. "All modes of transport will be fully electric with the ironic exception of rockets. There’s no way around Newton’s 3rd law.” (Feb, 2013 | Source)

  12. "The fast way [to warm mars] is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles." (Sep, 2015 | Source)

  13. "I Would Like to Die on Mars, Just Not on Impact." (Mar, 2013 | Source)

  14. "I’m talking about sending ultimately tens of thousands, eventually millions of people to Mars and then going out there and exploring the stars." (May, 2012 | Source)

  15. “We have a strict ‘no-assholes policy’ at SpaceX.” (Jun, 2008 | Source)

  16. "We’ll go to the moons of Jupiter, at least some of the outer ones for sure, and probably Titan on Saturn, and the asteroids. Once we have that forcing function, and an Earth-to-Mars economy, we’ll cover the whole Solar System. But the key is that we have to make the Mars thing work. If we’re going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation. That’s the next step." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  17. "I’m not saying I’m skeptical of [traveling to] the stars. I just wonder what humanity will even look like when we try to do that. If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel.” (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  18. "It’s pretty hard to get to another star system. Alpha Centauri is four light years away, so if you go at 10 per cent of the speed of light, it’s going to take you 40 years, and that’s assuming you can instantly reach that speed, which isn’t going to be the case. You have to accelerate. You have to build up to 20 or 30 per cent and then slow down, assuming you want to stay at Alpha Centauri and not go zipping past." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  19. "The Soviets were crowing after Sputnik, about how they had better technology than we did, and so therefore communism is better. And so we set a really tough target and said we would beat them there, and money was no object. But once the ideological battle was won, the impetus went away, and money very quickly became an object." (Sep, 2014 | Source)

  20. "It’s obvious that space is deeply ingrained in the American psyche." (Sep, 2014 | Source)


Cover photo from SpaceX