Elon Musk Wants You to Build a Pizza Parlor on Mars

The SpaceX founder says Mars won't just need brave colonists, it'll need entrepreneurs.

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Jul 7 2015, 4:03pm

Space Image: BlueDharma/Flickr Pizza Mashup: Jason Koebler

It's no secret Elon Musk wants to go to Mars. But he wants you to go to Mars, too, and he wants you to become a businessperson there.

Musk said Tuesday that he wants to make space travel affordable not just to make it easier to do science, but to open up the prospect of entrepreneurship.

"People will want to create the first pizza joint [on Mars], the first iron ore factory. And there will be different things on Mars than we've ever imagined on Earth," Musk said at an International Space Station-focused conference in Boston Tuesday.

Musk has said that developing the actual technology necessary to go to Mars is obviously going to get the public most excited about the prospect, but Tuesday he was animatedly excited about the idea of a TV show that portrayed a Martian colony like it was the wild, wild west, "with gunslingers!"

This is basically the plot of Joss Whedon's cult favorite, Firefly. But we can forgive him for not knowing.

The charismatic founder of SpaceX described his hopes for stronger public support for Mars research, and ideas for how to engage humanity with the idea of colonizing the fourth planet, even going as far as calling this idea the reason he got into space in the first place.

Musk also described an idea for a solar power experiment on Mars based on the basic functions of a party horn, an idea that garnered some giggles from the audience when he described it.

"What's going to be important is having a very light-weight solar system that bends," he said. "So we're sort of playing with different concepts, like, you know, that party thing where it rolls up and you blow? One of the concepts is we'll basically have a big roll that you just inflate, and it rolls out with really thin solar panels on it."

Musk believes solar energy will be a "very significant" part of future Mars research and exploration, and that its uses are "pretty straightforward."

Getting there, of course, is going to be the tough part. For the near future, the company will have to focus on recovering from its failed mission late last month.