SpaceX chief Elon Musk touted the possibilities of life on Mars in an appearance on CBS’ new “Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
The host, in just his second night of the show, was hardly hardball in his questioning of Musk.
“Are you sincerely trying to save the world?” Colbert asked after his guest was seated.
“I’m trying to do good things, yeah,” the billionaire entrepreneur replied.
There was a staged bit about the Musk-birthed Tesla electric car and its robotic charging system. And Colbert acknowledged Musk’s role as chairman of the Solar City energy company.
But most of the segment revolved around Musk’s space quests, including a plan to colonize Mars once SpaceX’s spacecrafts are capable of making the trip.
Musk referred to the Red Planet as a “fixer-upper” and said domed habitation would only be necessary until surface temperatures there could be heated up.
As for how to do that, he suggested:”The fast way is to drop thermonuclear bombs. The slow way would be to release greenhouse gases the way we do on Earth.”
Colbert enthused wildly when Musk said SpaceX would begin manned missions to the International Space Station within two to three years. But with the Hawthorne, Calif.-based rocket company under contract with NASA to do exactly that the statement hardly amounted to breaking news.
After Musk’s Sept. 8 appearance aired, social media seemed to focus largely on a reported off-air remark to the studio audience that Musk should run for U.S. president.
Not bloody likely, since Musk is South African and barred by law from doing so. So many of the online comments swung on whether the man often referred to as the “real-life Iron Man” would be getting a promotion from his current status, or not, in seeking such a lofty elected position.
Observed one such post on Twitter: “Dude he’s in it for humanity … the beauty of this is he’s solving a need. But not necessarily trying to consistently fix something in the sense the POTUS is. Fixing problems inherited and broken systems that don’t want change. As a result, change is more quick and prominent. He’s chartering new territory and making his rules — instead of old claimed territory with old rules.”
Colbert sounded a similar tone at the conclusion of his Musk interview.
“Thank you for trying to make the future a better place,” the host said.