More than any other time in recent memory, travel to Mars is looking more like a reality. More than any other time in recent memory, travel to Mars is looking more like a reality. More than at any other time in recent memory, travel to Mars is looking like a reality. (Photo: Aphelleon / Shutterstock)

All aboard! Get your ticket for the ferry to Mars

Real-life 'Iron Man' billionaire says ride will be available in less than 10 years.

Close your eyes. Imagine a large interplanetary ferry that shuttles people from Earth to Mars. Now open your eyes. Elon Musk wants to make that a reality.

The maverick inventor and technologist, who is the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, is working on just such a ship. It's called the Mars Colonial Transporter, and it's estimated to be able to carry 100 people at a time. The trip itself will take approximately seven months. That's one hellluva Uber ride!

Musk is aiming to reveal a more detailed roadmap for the project in September at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. At last year's conference, held in Israel, Mars was also a hot topic. Buzz Aldrin, the keynote speaker at that event, discussed his mission to colonize Mars. Also there, the Israel Space Agency signed up to help NASA with a journey to Mars.

The 44-year-old South African-born Musk made the announcement at the Startmeup HK Venture Forum in Hong Kong, China. You can watch highlights of his remarks in the video below:

Perhaps Musk, who is the basis for Iron Man’s Tony Stark, was motivated to make the announcement after he heard about NASA’s plan to send an Iron Man-like robot up to Mars.

Musk realizes the Red Planet can be a bit inhospitable to humans. For starters, it's way too cold there, but he sees its potential. "It's a fixer-upper of a planet," he said jokingly. "but eventually you can transform Mars to an Earth-like planet." Musk even plans on retiring on Mars.

"It would be exciting and inspiring," Musk said. "This is going to be the greatest adventure ever."

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