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Musk: In WW3 we could flee to the moon

Elon wants "a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back".

SpaceX founder Elon Musk

The solution may be up there; bases on the moon and Mars could help preserve human civilization and hasten its regeneration on earth in the event of a third world war, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said on Sunday.

Musk, the founder of rocket and spacecraft company SpaceX, said the company's interplanetary ship could begin test flights as soon as next year.

Dark ages

There is "some probability" there will be another Dark Ages, "particularly if there is a third world war", Musk said at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.

"We want to make sure that there's enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back, and perhaps shorten the length of the Dark Ages," he said.

"I think a moon base and a Mars base that could perhaps help regenerate life back here on earth would be really important."

Falcon Heavy

Musk said he thinks that SpaceX's interplanetary ship will "be able to do short flights, short sort of up and down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year".

SpaceX launched the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, last month, sending Musk's red Tesla Roadster car towards an orbit near Mars.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is the world's most powerful rocket, followed by the Delta IV Heavy, but at one third of the cost, according to Musk. It has more lift capacity than any space vehicle to fly since NASA's Saturn 5, which was retired in 1973.

SpaceX announced plans to eventually use Falcon Heavy to launch two, paying space tourists on a trip around the Moon. However, Musk said he will probably reserve that mission for another launch system, the BFR. 

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