Elon Musk says SpaceX will make 'short flights' to Mars next year

Courtesy of Matt Lief Anderson  HBO

The rocket is now code named BFR, of which Musk said: "It's a bit of a Rorschach test in acronym form".

At a special ticket-only event for South by Southwest badge holders Sunday, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk took some time to answer questions and speak on a variety of technological topics, including interplanetary exploration and even tunnel travel. The company is still way behind on its production targets.

"If there's a third world war we want to make sure there's enough of a seed of human civilisation somewhere else to bring it back and shorten the length of the dark ages".

The ultimate goal of the mission, of course, is a Mars colony.

Once Musk figures out how to get to Mars, the real work will begin, as humans will have to build everything they need to survive in the planet.

More news: Big showdown as farmer's march to gherao the Vidhan Bhavan

After a series of failures, Space X's Falcon Heavy rocket famously made it into space last month.

He commented that people would "vote directly on issues instead of going through representative government".

"This has been our pattern in the past". After the infrastructure is complete, "then really the explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity [will begin], because Mars will need everything from iron foundries to pizza joints", he said.

It was Musk's long-range plan for sending settlers to Mars that took up most of the attention. Musk called AI a "very serious danger to the public", one that keeps him up at night. "Mark my words", Musk told the crowd, "AI is far more risky than nukes". The co-founder of OpenAI, a non-profit created to protect humankind from this emerging technology, Musk campaigned for a public body that has insight and oversight to ensure everyone is building AI safely. This is extremely important. They certainly don't think it's possible, but if we do they'll up their game'.

He cautioned that the first people to head to Mars would face situations "far more dangerous" than past settlement efforts, with a "good chance you'll die". So why do we have no regulatory oversight? Joking about creating a campaign for bringing people to the Red Planet, Musk said "it's hard, dangerous, and there's a good chance you'll die". And if he doesn't try and get us to Mars, who will?

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