HS: As I understand it, you were initially interested in funding a Mars mission but the high cost of launching such a mission led you to develop your own launcher. Are you actively planning a Mars mission for the Falcon or its heavier follow-on derivatives? Don’t know if the payload weight matches the launcher, but it would be cool if you launched the AMSAT-DL led P5-A Mars mission. A private launcher sending an AMSAT spacecraft to Mars would definitely signal a new era in space exploration! Musk: No, right now I’m just focused on building a high quality launch vehicle and a top notch space technology company in SpaceX. At some point, I might do the Mars Oasis mission, but that would be a separate, philanthropic venture. My original motivation for MO was based on the notion of “where there is a will, there is a way”. However, I now think it is the other way around. As evidenced by the attention given the Shuttle tragedy, the dream of space is an integral part of the American identity. So if people think that there is a way to get to space, they will take that path. We need to show that it exists.
August 25th, 2003