Elon Musk rubbishes space habitat plan and doubles down on city on Mars

Elon Musk has again reiterated his belief in the need for humans to transition to live on the Moon or Mars.

The now second richest man in the world was responding to a tweet from world renowned computer scientist Paul Graham who tweeted a Sci Fi drawing of an imagined futuristic spaceship, saying: "When I was a kid, I genuinely believed this was where we'd all be living by now.

"Do kids today have some sci-fi vision of the future, or was that just my generation?"

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Musk, responded to the viral tweet, saying: "The mass & difficulty required to build a space habitat like that is extreme. Far better to have a base on the moon & city on Mars."

However, Musk has some work to do before his lifelong dream is realised.

The Twitter CEO last week saw his latest space venture crash land as SpaceX's huge Starship rocket, the most powerful ever built, blasted off on an unpiloted maiden flight.

It successfully flew for more than two minutes before spiraling out of control and exploding in a cloud of debris.

"Starship just experienced what we call a rapid unscheduled disassembly, or a RUD, during ascent," said SpaceX engineer John Insprucker.

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Musk had sought to downplay expectations prior to the launch.

"Starship is the biggest rocket ever made," he said.

"It's over twice the thrust of a Saturn 5, the Saturn 5 moon rocket, which is largest rocket ever to get to orbit, it's roughly twice the mass.

"So, we've got 33 engines on the booster, we've got six engines on the upper stage of the ship. It's a lot of engines.

"So I guess I would just like to set expectations low.

"If we get far enough away from the launch pad before something goes wrong, then I think I would consider that to be a success.

"Just don't blow up the launch pad!"

Starships are Space X's flaghship project in partnership with NASA and are designed to fly themselves back to to Earth and eventually, it is hoped, the moon and even Mars.

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