Moon Colony? Elon Musk Now Wants Lunar Colonization Before Mars

Elon Musk suggested that SpaceX will abandon its plans to land the company's Dragon capsule on Mars - a mission the company had been aiming to do as early as 2020, The Verge says.

How would you like to rocket from New York City to Washington, 29 minutes via an underground tunnel? That's fast enough to travel from NY to Washington in 29 minutes. Due to the speeds of Hyperloop, it needs to travel in a virtually straight line, and it's impossibly hard to buy enough land to travel in a straight line through built-up areas.

Each city center would have a major hub, "with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators", Musk said, adding that "support would be much appreciated!". Tunneling from NY to Washington would require a gargantuan political feat, not to mention a prodigious amount of money.

Downsizing the ITS spaceship a bit - the originally unveiled version would carry at least 100 people - and using it for some profit-generating "Earth-orbit activity" could help make Mars colonization economically feasible, Musk said at the ISSR&D conference today.

Eric Philips, press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, chimed in, tweeting: "This is news to City Hall".

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Musk runs electric vehicle company Tesla Inc. and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp., among other ventures. First set of tunnels are to alleviate greater LA urban congestion.

While the hyperloop is Musk's idea, he hasn't taken on the project personally. It would stop just beyond Hawthorne Boulevard, where additional permits would be needed to continue. He first proposed it in 2013, outling a system whereby passengers would be transported at super high speeds via tubes that are constructed above or below the ground. The bored tunnel would link New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, he tweeted. "I do think getting good at digging tunnels could be really helpful for Mars", said Musk.

"Uhhhhh, you know there's no one person with the power to approve that, right?"

Musk's system appeared to be different from theirs, though.

He's told the global space station research conference that developing the booster rocket, which is powered by 27 engines, has proven to be "way harder than the team initially thought".

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