Mars, as seen in 2003. (NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems)

Mars, as seen in 2003. (NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems)

Web Monkey: Musk isn’t the only one who wants to go to Mars

Anybody want to buy a ticket to Mars?

Start saving those pennies. Elon Musk says he can get you there for the low, low price of $200,000 in a mere decade or two.

Musk, who made $12 billion on ventures such as PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, recently announced plans to colonize the Red Planet. He envisions up to a million people there later this century.

Anyone who’s seen or read “The Martian” knows that conditions are harsh on Mars, even if you’re a botanist who can turn poop into potatoes. It’s freezing cold and there’s no breathable air. Other obstacles include the massive startup costs of a Martian shuttle program and the unknown health effects of long spaceflights.

Musk doesn’t have all of that figured out, but he thinks it’s essential for humanity to have a backup plan in case this whole Earth thing doesn’t work out. He’s a billionaire and he seems to be in a hurry to leave. It’s a tad suspicious.

In our latest poll at, we asked whether you’d want to go on the adventure, and 27 percent said yes. Extrapolate that to the U.S. population and you’d have tens of millions willing to take a trip to Mars, where Musk has said the first travelers will need to be “prepared to die.” It might hurt ticket sales if they put that in the travel brochure, but there still will be plenty of takers.

Twenty-six percent said it’s a moot question because he’s out of his mind. Musk has proven the naysayers wrong before, so he shouldn’t be underestimated. After all, this year he got 400,000 people to put money down on cars that don’t exist yet.

And 47 percent said they’re not interested. They probably have kids, mortgages, fantasy football leagues — some reason to stick around.

But if you’ve followed the news lately, you might be glad someone’s working on an escape plan.

— Doug Parry,; @parryracer

On to something more terrestrial. In case you hadn’t heard, there’s an election coming up and, well, there’s more on it than just the top office of the free world that’s at stake. What about swapping sales tax for carbon tax?

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Dreamlifter Operations Center at Paine Field airport on June 6, 2019. The operations center is located next the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center. (Janice Podsada / Herald file)
FedEx said to be in talks to take over Dreamlifter center

The air cargo carrier would need federal approval to establish regular service from Paine Field in Everett.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Timely police reform; Ferguson weighs in on drug possession

Here’s what’s happening on Day 101 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Brecca Yates, left, helps guide dental student Kaylee Andrews through a crown prep exercise at Northshore Dental Assisting Academy on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dental staffing shortages are more than a pain in the mouth

With hundreds of open hygienist and assistant positions statewide, local dentists are short-handed.

Officer Mark Brinkman (Lynnwood Police Department)
Community mourns death of Lynnwood officer Mark Brinkman, 55

He was a leader in DUI enforcement and known for his caring and kindness, even to those he arrested.

The Lenz composting facility borders. (Google Earth)
Odors are a concern if Stanwood composting operation expands

Air regulators drew up a draft permit that would allow Lenz Enterprises to double in size. Residents can weigh in.

With desks stacked away to provide social distance spacing, tenth grader Zendon Bugge attends a World History class during the first day of school for Everett High students on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Students statewide returned to school buildings on Monday

Districts are now required to provide in-person class two days a week for kids through grade 12.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Club president Zachary Nelson explains to a pair of students how the currency works while handing out free cryptocurrency at the University of Washington Bothell on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Crypto’s wild ride: It’s winning fans from here to Wall Street

Digital currency is worth trillions to traders betting on Dogecoin, Bitcoin and other blockchains.

Langley has become a passport hotspot for off-islanders

In Snohomish County, appointments are reportedly booked out months in advance.

Snohomish County kicks off new rental assistance program

It starts with nearly $25 million from the U.S. Treasury Department. More funding is expected soon.

Most Read