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Elon Musk says he might go to orbit in four to five years

Going to Mars, however, is a bit more complicated.

Asa Mathat

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk really wants humans to be a multi-planet species that ultimately expands across the solar system. Musk is confident in his ability to do just that and expects to launch a rocket to Mars by 2018, though he admits the path to that goal will be a bit complicated to navigate. But not complicated enough to prevent him from casually shooting himself into orbit in four to five years, Musk said at the Code Conference on Wednesday night.

In answer to why he hadn't been to space yet, Musk said he'd go at some point.

"I'll probably go to orbit in four to five years," he said. "Orbit is really different than space."

But Musk said he didn't recommend transporting a human to Mars in SpaceX's Dragon II spacecraft because, for one, the interior space is akin to that of an SUV, which doesn't make for comfortable space travel. But, perhaps more importantly, the Dragon II doesn't have the ability to return to Earth.

"I mean if you’re going to choose where to die, then Mars is not a bad choice," Musk said in response to whether he wanted to end up there. "But it's not some sort of a 'Martian' death wish."

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