Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Engineer of SpaceX said it is imperative to extend human life beyond earth to other planets in order to survive.
“Human space flight was always the fundamental goal of SpaceX,” Musk said during a press conference following the historic launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying American astronauts to the ISS. “To create the technology to sustain life
“This is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilization on Mars and life becoming multi-planetary and this is the first step on that journey,” Musk said. “If we are able to increase the rate of innovation life can become multi-planetary. That’s what we’re striving for, to create the technologies necessary to make life multi planetary. We must make life multi-planetary. It’s not one planet to exclusion of another.
“It’s very important we do so as soon as possible while the window of opportunity is open,” Musk said. “I call upon the public to support this goal and to think about this goal and how important it is and how fundamental it is to the future. Launching sat is nice of course and we have to bring in more money than we spend but ultimately it’s all about life beyond Earth.”
Musk said that he is elated over the success of Saturday’s launch but docking with the ISS will be Sunday’s big mission and then minimizing risk upon returning Bob and Doug to Earth will be critical.
Regarding some resistance he encountered along the way, Musk said back in 2002 when he founded SpaceX there was doubt in his head too.
“To be totally frank, I doubted us too,” he said. “I thought when I started Spacex we had a 10 percent chance of reaching orbit. To those who doubted us I thought well you’re probably right There were times — I took the money from Paypal and Tesla and ended up spending it all and almost both companies went bankrupt. 2008 was a tough year. It took us four attempts just to get into orbit with Falcon 1.
A lot of times, people tell me the joke ‘How do you make a small fortune in the rocket industry? You start with a large one’ is the punch line. I’ve heard that joke 12,000 times. It almost came true.”
Musk said financially his company barely made it.
“That fourth launch of Falcon 1, that was all the money we had and that wasn’t even enough to save the company ,” Musk said. “We also then had to win the NASA Cargo Resupply contract that came toward the end of 2008, Those were the two things that saved SpaceX otherwise we would have not made it.
“I think those doubters, their probability assessment was correct,” Musk said. “Ultimately fate has smiled upon us and brought us to this day.”