But a human Mars settlement is more than just hardware. The lives of people will be at stake, and serious thought needs to be given to the safety of the first human settlers. Musk admitted that the first colonists would have to be prepared to die, but killing people either on the way to Mars or once they get there will defeat the entire purpose of creating a colony in the first place. SpaceX may consider itself just a transportation company, but if it wants to get in the business of transporting humans, the company needs to reassure the public it can get them to a destination in one piece.

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