Two of the biggest names in science right now are Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and in a recent Reddit AMA the former decided to challenge the latter in a huge way. Musk of course is the founder of SpaceX, and is probably most well known for being one outlandish idea too far from becoming a cartoon-esque movie villain whose only goal is taking over the world and colonizing Mars.
In regards to Musk’s hopes to establish consistent human travel to Mars, Tyson was asking in his AMA whether he would ever take hold of the chance to hop aboard a shuttle to the red planet. Tyson’s answer, although lighthearted, was also a serious and well-thought out consideration on what his choice would be should the opportunity arise.
“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[s] his Mother and brings her back alive. Then I’m good for it.”
Musk’s mother already told Mashable that there was no way she was getting on a ship to Mars because “Frankly, it’s because they need the younger people there like engineers to create a future. They don’t need me.” Which seems like the smart and safe choice to take.
It looks like both people are staying grounded for the foreseeable future.