Musk Reads: SpaceX Could Build a City on Mars by 2050

Plus, Tesla rolls out the chance to win a 2020 Roadster and Musk's tweets come under the spotlight.

Tesla offers the chance to win a 2020 Roadster; Musk proposes a city on Mars by 2050; and The Boring Company gets a muted reception from Virginia. It’s Musk Reads #71.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk Quote of the Week

“It would be so inspiring for humanity to see humanity return to the moon!”

Read more about Musk’s lunar plans here.



Tesla has revived its referrals program with the chance to win a second-generation Tesla Roadster. The original scheme was dropped in January due to high running costs, as several participants reportedly met the criteria to earn a free Roadster outright. The new scheme comes as the Tesla Model 3 is setting sales records internationally. Read more.

Tesla is also updating centuries-old farming practices with modern upgrades. Inverse spoke with the Winterdale cheese farm in England — owned by a family who’s been farming in the area since 1495 — which now uses the Tesla Powerwall and solar panels to take its cheesemaking off-grid. The cheese is delivered across Europe using a Tesla Model X. It’s a big expansion on the house of the future concept demonstrated by Musk in 2016. Read more.

Following last week’s intervention from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla’s chairman has defended Musk’s use of Twitter. Robyn Denholm, who replaced Musk as chairman in November 2018, told Bloomberg Wednesday that “Twitter is part of everyday business for many executives today,” adding that “from my perspective, he uses it wisely.” Musk agreed with the commission in October 2018 to board oversight of his Twitter use, but two months later Musk claimed that nobody has been checking his posts. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: A right-hand-drive version of the Tesla Model 3 is expected to launch soon after being spotted on California’s roads. Musk previously confirmed to Inverse that the car is expected to reach the United Kingdom and Australia by the middle of 2019.



Musk told his Twitter followers this week that it’s “possible” to build a city on Mars by 2050. The CEO claimed it could take 10 orbital synchronizations to complete a city. Musk has previously stated that a colony could take shape in around 10 years from now. The Starship is central to these plans, with 31 Raptor engines and the capacity to send 100 people to space at once. Its liquid oxygen and methane propellant enables SpaceX to establish a planet-hopping network. Read more.

What’s Next for SpaceX: The firm is expected to fly the Starship Hopper soon. Documents handed out to residents near the Boca Chica test facility advise that tests could start imminently.

More SpaceX reads from this week:

  • SpaceX: Elon Musk Says Starship Could Send Humans to Moon in Just 5 Years. Read more.
  • Video Shows Toyota’s Planned Moon Rover With 18 Times the Range of Model S. Read more.
  • Falcon Heavy: Arabsat 6A Launch Date, SpaceX Preparations, and Stakes. Read more.
Elon Musk

The Boring Company

Musk’s tunnel digging firm got a lukewarm reception from Virginia officials. The company wants to send autonomous electric cars through tunnels at speeds of up to 150 mph. Unfortunately, the state came away unimpressed, with one official deriding it as “a car in a very small tunnel.” James Moore, director of the transportation engineering program at the University of Southern California, told Inverse that the state appears to favor more conservative solutions to traffic management. Read more.

Photo of the Week

Tesla Roadster 2020 mocked up in silver:

The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads #71, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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