By David Wright, ABC News, 08.06.12
As the Mars rover Curiosity, a $2.5 billion robot the size of a Mini Cooper, touched down last night, one billionaire was already planning the next logical step -- sending humans there.
"I'm confident at this point that it can be done," Elon Musk told "Nightline" in an interview at SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles. "I think we'll be able to send, probably, the first people to Mars in roughly 12 to 15 years. That's my estimate."
Musk, who made his billions as an Internet entrepreneur, wants to bring Silicon Valley ingenuity to a space exploration process that, until recently, has been something only governments tried to tackle.
He entered the space race in 2010 with his company's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, reusable spacecraft built with the goal of taking astronauts into space and returning them safely to Earth.
To read the full article and watch the ABC video clip, please click here.
[Mr. Musk was recently presented with the Mars Society's "Mars Pioneer Award" at the 15th Annual International Mars Society Convention in Pasadena, California on August 4th. His acceptance speech was posted today on the organization's YouTube page, along with introductory remarks by Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.]
[Image: New Scientist]