This would have seemed like more of a joke during the previous

However, SpaceX — and specifically

tech entrepreneur Elon Musk — is deadly serious about trying to send the first Martian

settlers sometime in 2022 or 2024.

Musk's lifetime goal is to see a million people on Mars because he wants a "backup drive"

for humanity, just in case some major disaster — extraterrestrial or otherwise — ruins Earth.

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