The Abstract Podcast

Musk, Herzog, and Mars City: Big ideas meet bold criticism

In this episode, we discuss where the public stands on Musk's grand vision of a city on Mars by 2050.

SpaceX Crew Dragon liftoff

Now that the SpaceX Crew Dragon has successfully launched into orbit, the skies have opened up for even more of NASA’s upcoming plans — as well as for a new era of commercial spaceflight. But SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is set on a bigger goal: building a city on Mars.

With lofty ambitions that live (literally) outside of this world, Musk’s vision has seen its fair share of critics. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog recently compared the idea to a Biblical plague, echoing a growing sentiment that Mars colonization is unequivocally a “mistake.”

However, Elon Musk has a bold new message for doubters: Mars or bust.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss where the public stands on Musk's grand vision of a city on Mars by 2050.

Our first story is about how the SpaceX Crew Dragon, designed to help NASA send astronauts to and from the International Space Station, successfully launched with four astronauts on board. A crucial step toward CEO Elon Musk’s goal of a city on Mars by 2050, the historical feat paves the way for the future of space travel.

Our second story is about the growing pushback toward future Mars colonization. As some ask whether humanity should keep our planet habitable instead of trying to conquer another one, famed film director Werner Herzog issues a stark warning to Elon Musk: Don't “be like the locusts.”

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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