Elon Musk gets weird about Mars, rocket science during San Francisco keynote

On Tuesday SpaceX CEO, Tesla Motors CEO, eccentric billionaire, and IRL comics protagonist Elon Musk gave the presidential forum at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. In a room of geologists and physicists, he talked about colonizing Mars and the importance of improving science education. 

His commanding presence certainly carried the billing—the line to see him was astronomically long.

Line to see Elon Musk. Doors are open! Watch at AGU On Demand if you can’t get in the room #AGU15

A photo posted by American Geophysical Union (@americangeophysicalunion) on

Naturally, people were excited to see him take the stage.

Though some were disappointed.

He talked about a lot of things, perhaps the most interesting and contentious of which was becoming a “multi-planet species,” and colonizing other planets—namely Mars.

But not everyone agreed with that sentiment.

Others were concerned with the possibility of disturbing microbes that may live on the Red Planet.

More concerns aired included producing fuel to get to and from Mars on the planet itself, as well as SpaceX’s challenge to create a reusable rocket.

Musk also talked about the importance of science education and enrichment.

He ended on a bit of a dire note: the need to get sustainable energy resources up and running, before it’s too late.

And then it was over.

One generous tweeter captured all of Musk’s musings in one convenient comic.

We’ll see if he beats NASA to Mars. Until then, we’ll be eagerly anticipating the hyperloop.

Photo via Heisenberg Media/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cynthia McKelvey

Cynthia McKelvey

Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.