Elon Musk wants a base on Mars in case of World War Three

The entrepreneur said he will launch a rocket to the Red Planet next year.

Press Association
Last updated:14 March 2018 - 06.59am

Elon Musk may have gained some reputation as a serial apocalypse speculator (after all, he has been vocal about the threats of artificial intelligence), but at a recent event, the billionaire entrepreneur took his views a little bit further.

Speaking at an SXSW conference, Musk shared his thoughts on why humans need to have already established colonies away from Earth.

[Read more: From SpaceX to Tesla and Hyperloop - Who is Elon Musk?]

He said: “There’s likely to be another dark ages… particularly if there’s a third world war.

“It’s important to get a self-sustaining base on Mars because it’s far enough away from Earth that [in the event of a war] it’s more likely to survive than a moon base.

“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.”

His comments come just days after Donald Trump announced plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an attempt to defuse rising nuclear tension.

SpaceX, meanwhile, is working on a vehicle that will take humans to Mars.

According to Musk, it will fly for the first time in 2019, although he admitted that his “timelines historically have been optimistic”.

[Read more: Descend to earth with Tim Peake in a Soyuz spacecraft]