We’ve been hearing from real-life Tony Stark inspiration Elon Musk about his hopes for sending humans to Mars for a few years now. But in a new interview, the SpaceX founder shares a vision that’s far more grandiose than building a small base on the fourth rock from the sun. He envisions a Martian metropolis up and running within a century. Previously, Musk has told journalists that manned missions to the Red Planet could be possible as soon as the mid-2020s, a pretty optimistic timeline when you consider that NASA is targeting the mid-2030s for such a mission and it took about a decade just for SpaceX to get to the space station for the first time. But in a fascinating conversation with Aeon Magazine, Musk dismisses such notions of pessimism (or realism, depending on your perspective and how many billions you have at your disposal).

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