Opinion: Elon Musk's Idea for an Interplanetary Transport System Sounds Like it Was Stolen from a Six-Year-Old

Opinion: Elon Musk's Idea for an Interplanetary Transport System Sounds Like it Was Stolen from a Six-Year-Old

While watching Elon Musk's presentation about his new Interplanetary Transport System today, a realization dawned on me. If we were to take away Musk's fame, fortune, and the fact that he's one of the main driving forces behind two of the most innovative tech companies in the world—Tesla Motors and SpaceX—he would sound like a total lunatic up on that stage. 

According to Musk, SpaceX is going to build a giant spacecraft capable of accommodating 100 people—but probably more like 200 people—and about 1,000 of these spacecraft will be built—fully reusable—to take humans to Mars—and by around 2050 there should be about one million people living on Mars.

Uh-huh. That sounds more like something a six-year-old would say while playing with LEGOS, followed immediately afterwards by them choking on their own saliva while pooping their pants. 

Three Good Reasons to Not Send Humans to Mars

Three Good Reasons to Not Send Humans to Mars

Everyone is always going on about the myriad of good reasons to send humans to Mars. But what about the good reasons not to go to Mars? Here are a couple:

The Closest Exoplanet to Earth Is a Scientific Gold Mine That We're Lucky to Have

The Closest Exoplanet to Earth Is a Scientific Gold Mine That We're Lucky to Have

Two weeks ago, Earth was introduced to a previously unknown distant relative: Proxima b, an exoplanet in orbit around the closest star to our own Solar System, Proxima Centauri, 4.243 light years away. That's just over 40 trillion kilometers. That's over 2,000 times further away than the most distant man-made object, Voyager 1, which has been traveling away from the Sun since 1977—39 years of spaceflight, 0.05% of the distance to Proxima b.

At that rate, it would take over 80,000 years to reach Proxima b—if Voyager were even headed in that direction (and if Proxima Centauri stopped whirling around the galaxy at hundreds of kilometers per second). By comparison, it took New Horizons ten years to reach Pluto which, at five billion kilometers, is the furthest object ever visited by a spacecraft. 

And yet, as it typically goes, we'll soon be mining this n

This 114 Year Old Silent Film is The First Science Fiction Movie Ever Made

This 114 Year Old Silent Film is The First Science Fiction Movie Ever Made

All the way back in 1902, human beings started imagining what a journey to the Moon would look like. Just 67 years after The Trip to the Moon debuted in theaters, the first human beings walked on the Moon for real—and the real version played out quite a bit differently.

Now that this classic Sci-Fi epic is 114 years old, let's take a look at six key differences between what our ancestors thought that journey would look like versus how it all actually went down.

Should Pluto Still Be Considered a 'Dwarf' Planet? Planetary Scientists Say 'Hell No!'

Should Pluto Still Be Considered a 'Dwarf' Planet? Planetary Scientists Say 'Hell No!'

It's been ten years since Pluto was officially re-classified as a dwarf plane. Some, myself included, sarcastically refer to this event as Pluto's having been 'demoted' from full planetary status, as if there were some sort of hierarchy of celestial objects.

But these artificial classifications don't matter to the objects being classified. Pluto is no worse off than it was as a planet. All that these classifications really do is help us understand what these objects are. And for that, the planet and dwarf planet classifications have completely failed.