Elon Musk Says This Study Gives Us More Reason to Build Civilizations in Space

Elon Musk has responded to a research that suggests it's likely we are alone in the universe.
Jessica Miley
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Scientists from the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at Oxford University have released a new study that suggests Earth is currently the only site of advanced civilization in the “observable Universe.” SpaceX CEO tweeted a link to the article saying this was further proof that humans need to push forward with building civilizations in space. 

“This is why we must preserve the light of consciousness by becoming a spacefaring civilization [and] extending life to other planets,” the Tesla and SpaceX leader tweeted on Sunday with an article about the research. “It is unknown whether we are the only civilization currently alive in the observable universe, but any chance that we are is added impetus for extending life beyond Earth,” he added. 

Musk acknowledges the dangers ahead

Musk admits going out and colonizing other planets isn’t going to erase all the problems on earth. “Humanity is not perfect, but it’s all we’ve got,” the serial entrepreneur commented. Musk has made his intention of sending humans to explore and possibly colonize Mars very clear. 


In an academic journal article in New Space published in June last year, Musk gave some reasons for the aggressive move to space saying, "There will be some eventual extinction event" if humans stay on earth forever. Musk founded SpaceX with the intention of reducing the cost of space exploration in the hopes that he can open up the cosmos to humans. 

The main way he has achieved this so far is by designing and building reusable rockets that radically reduce the cost of space missions. "We are building the first Mars or interplanetary ship, and I think we'll be able to do short trips, flights by first half of next year," Musk said at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in March. 

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Despite Musk’s optimism about life in space, he has admitted the road ahead is difficult and will involve serious danger to the first humans leaving our planet. “As individuals, we will all die in blink of an eye on a galactic timescale. What can live on for long time is civilization. Those who first go to other planets will face far more risk of death [and] hardship than those who stay. Over time, space travel will be safe [and] open to all,” he said in a recent series of Tweets. 

SpaceX ready to meet new friends in space

Musk also joked that he would be happy to meet other forms of interstellar life. In response to a tweet questioning the definition of intelligent life, Musk said: “Let’s find out. It would be amazing to encounter an alien civilization, provided it is not their invasion fleet!” 

Musk isn’t the only one with their eyes on Mars. Boeing has thrown the gauntlet down to SpaceX saying they will be the ones who will send humans to the red planet first. In typical Musk fashion, the challenge was accepted. Both companies have said they will be able to reach Mars by 2024.