The United States space shuttle program no longer exists, which leaves NASA's astronauts with few options for hitching a ride to the International Space Station. One option, Russia's space program, is currently roadblocked by politics. Another other option is thankfully here in the US, with Elon Musk's SpaceX offering rides to and from the ISS; Musk says that his company will transport human beings between Earth and the ISS "in about two to three years" with the second version of his company's Dragon spacecraft. But the long game isn't the ISS: it's Mars.
"We're aspiring to send people to Mars," Musk told Stephen Colbert on last night's episode of The Colbert Report. "It would be the greatest adventure ever." He sees colonization of Mars in humanity's future, for both the survival of the species (diversifying humanity's physical portfolio, if you will) and for the sheer enormity of the endeavor. "My term for Mars is that it's a 'fixer-upper of a planet.' It's gonna take some work, but it's possible to transform Mars ultimately into an Earth-like planet."
On the less insane side of the interview, Musk spoke to his role as Tesla Motors CEO. The next firmware update for the Model S apparently enables car naming. And what did Musk name his car? The answer might shock you. Find out below!
(Okay, it's just "Old Faithful." Sorry! But still watch the hilarious interview below.)