Elon Musk reveals what life on Mars will be like for first settlers

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pictured as he attends the start of the production at Tesla's
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says life for the first Mars colonists will be hard. (AFP) (PATRICK PLEUL via Getty Images)

Mars-obsessed business mogul Elon Musk famously said: "I want to die on Mars - just not on impact."

This week, the SpaceX mogul revealed what life would be like for the first colonists on Mars – and it doesn’t sound pleasant.

Musk said in a video interview with Chris Anderson, the head of TED conferences: "It's very important to emphasise that Mars, especially in the beginning, will not be luxurious.

He said, according to Science Alert: "The sales pitch for going to Mars is, 'It's dangerous, it's cramped. You might not make it back. It's difficult, it's hard work.’"

Read more: There might once have been life on the moon

Musk, the South African-born high-tech entrepreneur who made his fortune in Silicon Valley, is also CEO of electric carmaker and battery manufacturer Tesla.

He has previously suggested that colonists travelling to the planet should be ‘prepared to die’.

Musk has suggested many plans for the colonisation of the planet - which has a thin atmosphere not breathable by humans - including targeting the poles with hydrogen bombs to bring about climate change.

He’s also suggested a plan to ship a million tons of cargo to the planet to build a self-sustaining city, with a budget of up to $10trn.

But he believes the mission offers an important chance to ‘rethink society’, he told Anderson.

Musk said, "I think this is important for maximising the probable life span for humanity or consciousness.”

"Human civilisation could come to an end for external reasons like a giant meteor or super volcanoes or extreme climate change or World War III, or you know, any one of a number of reasons."

Read more: Elon Musk dismisses astronomy concerns over Starlink network

The tech billionaire said last year that a spacecraft built to ferry humans to Mars is now the “top priority” for his company SpaceX.

Musk instructed employees to accelerate progress on the Starship rocket “dramatically and immediately”, in an email seen by CNBC.

He wrote: “Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship.”

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying passengers to the Space Station in the first-ever commercial crewed space launch.

Read more: Coronavirus: astronauts offer tips on how to survive isolation

Musk’s company SpaceX unveiled a prototype of Starship in 2019, a steel vehicle designed to carry up to 100 people to the Moon or Mars.

SpaceX is currently working on the Starship at a complex near Austin, Texas

Watch: If Elon Musk takes over, he'll expose Twitter - Douglas Murray