“I know Mars is a long-term goal for SpaceX,” I started. Then, pretty much as an aside, I said, “because you want to retire on Mars … ”
Musk got a pained look on his face. “No, that’s wrong. That’s not why I want to get to Mars. That quote is from an article in the Guardian. They pushed me for a sound bite, asking if I wanted to retire on Mars. I eventually said yes. When I retire—hopefully before I go senile—and eventually die, then Mars is as good a place to die as any.”
That line made me laugh; it’s far better than anything printed in the Guardian article.
But still, I was taken aback. “OK then, the article wanted a sexy quote and got one. But if that’s not the reason, what is it?”
Musk didn’t hesitate. “Humans need to be a multiplanet species,” he replied.