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The President and COO of SpaceX has made a bold prediction indicating when she thinks humans will reach Mars.
Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations and has been dubbed as the 38th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
In an interview with CNBC she was asked the all-important question.
The 58-year-old said: "We should put people on the surface of Mars within a decade."
She then added: "I think it will be in this decade, yes."
Shotwell continued: "I think we need to get a large delivery to the surface of Mars, and then people will start thinking harder about it."
She added: "I think within five or six years, people will see that that will be a real place to go."
Her views echo those of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who made similar comments in December 2021.
The richest man in the world spoke on the Lex Fridman podcast and said that 'worst case' would be 10 years and 'best case' would be five.
Well, Lord Martin Rees, astronomer royal, has called Elon Musk's plans to colonise Mars a 'dangerous delusion'.
Lord Rees was chatting on a panel at the World Government Summit in Dubai alongside Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson and the pair were not convinced.
He said: "The only reason for humans to go to space would be for adventure. To live on Mars is not going to be easy. Mars has a hostile environment.
"The idea of Elon Musk to have a million people settle on Mars is a dangerous delusion. Living on Mars is no better than living on the South Pole or the tip of Mount Everest."
Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson agreed and said that 'a billion people to another planet to help them survive a catastrophe on Earth seems unrealistic'.
He added: "If you want to call Mars home, you need to terraform Mars, turn it into Earth."
Musk had previously stressed the importance of interstellar travel, as he tweeted last November: "Earth has been and will be smashed super hard by meteors over time. Not a question of if, just when."
In another tweet, he added: "Becoming multiplanetary is one of the greatest filters. Only now, 4.5 billion years after Earth formed, is it possible.
"How long this window to reach Mars remains open is uncertain. Perhaps a long time, perhaps not. In case it is the latter, we should act now."
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