Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is a big advocate for undertaking a manned mission to Mars. He is also known for his ability to break down complex concepts about our universe in a way that even someone who knows very little about outer space can understand.
His straightforward style was on display during a recent Reddit AMA, when one of the participants asked him about his thoughts about SpaceX’s historic launch and landing last week of its reusable rocket, and whether he would ever make a one-way trip to the Red Planet himself.
Tyson said he thought that the success of the reusable rocket would go a long way toward bringing space tourism to reality.
“When we fly on a Boeing 747 across great distances, we don’t throw it away and roll out a new one. Reusability is arguably the most fundamental feature of affordable expensive things.”
And while he loves his life on Earth, Tyson said he would be game — on one condition:
“I really like Earth. So any space trip I take, I’m double checking that there’s sufficient funds for me to return. Also, I’m not taking that trip until Elon Musk send his Mother and brings her back alive. Then I’m good for it.”
Maye Musk, Elon’s mother, is a working high fashion model at 68, has a practice as a dietician, speaks five languages and has worked with Beyonce. She very well may be up to the challenge.
But it’s somewhat comforting to know that even someone as enthusiastic about Mars as Tyson has the same concerns about, you know, the safety of life on another planet that we all do.