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Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Send People to Mars by 2025

Nobody can accuse Elon Musk of not shooting for the stars.

The SpaceX and Tesla founder said this week that he personally wants to visit space within the next five years and thinks that his company will launch a mission to Mars by 2025.

Speaking at the StartmeupHK Festival in Hong Kong this week, Musk said that he had already taken parabolic flights to prepare for space, but had not done much else.

"I don't think it's that hard, honestly," he said. "It's not that hard to float around."

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Personal space travel ambitions aside, Musk also talked about how important it was for mankind to reach Mars. He said that SpaceX is planning to reveal its next-generation spacecraft at September's International Astronautical Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico.

That could be the next step toward eventually sending human beings to the Red Planet — something Musk said he thinks will happen by 2025. It's an ambitious goal considering that NASA's current plan is to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

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Regardless of who gets there first, Musk thinks it's vital for mankind to create a self-sustaining city on Mars to protect against human extinction, and also to inspire people.

"This would be an incredible adventure," he said. "It would be exciting and inspiring, and there needs to be things that excite and inspire people."