‘I Can’t Think of Anything More Exciting.’ Elon Musk Wants to Colonize Mars in 2022

Elon Musk is bullish about colonizing Mars, maybe even sooner than anyone thought.

Speaking at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, South Australia, Musk unveiled plans to launch SpaceX’s (spacex) BFR rocket and begin its Mars rendezvous by the year 2022, first sending two cargo missions to scout water sources and build a fuel plant. Then the city-building begins.

Musk said he’s “confident” the plan will be under way within five years.

“I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars,” Musk said, adding that he thinks SpaceX has figured out a way to make it affordable by using revenues from the company’s satellite launches, service missions to the International Space Station and by making smaller, more efficient rockets that are mostly reusable.

Nine years after SpaceX’s first successful launch — its fourth ever — Musk said his engineers are now perfecting propulsive landing. He believes the BFR rocket can carry out missions to the moon and back without producing propellant, enabling the establishment of a lunar space station.

“It’s 2017, we should have a lunar base by now,” Musk said to applause. “What the hell is going on?”

For more on space travel, watch Fortune’s video:

Travel to and from Mars will, however, require a propellant production plant. Current rocket prototypes provide cabin space suitable for about 100 people per mission, he said. Following the two projected missions in 2022, Musk said SpaceX plans to send four more rockets to the red planet during the next available window in 2024. Once colonization is under way, then begins the task of “making it a nice place to be.”

Founded by Musk in 2002, SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches spacecraft and advanced rockets toward the ultimate goal of enabling human life on other planets.

But Musk, who also co-founded and serves as CEO of Tesla Motors (tsla), remains grounded in his ambitions. SpaceX could potentially change the way we travel around the globe, he said, making it possible to get anywhere on earth in less than hour. “If we’re building this thing to go to mars,” Musk asked, “why not go to other places on earth as well?”

Tech

According to the SpaceX Co-Founder, This Is Why Elon Musk Is Wildly Successful

With businesses that focus on clean energy, electric, self-driving cars and launching into outer space, Elon Musk is on the innovation scoreboard in a big way, and often leading it. But according to a Quora response from his SpaceX co-founder, Jim Cantrell, it’s not just intelligence that’s propelled Musk to where he is.

To be clear, Cantrell isn’t saying that Musk lacks in the brain department (I think we all know that). In fact, he acknowledges that Musk is highly intelligent. He’s simply saying that other factors do Musk more good and that intelligence isn’t always a prerequisite for success.

So what are those factors for success, specifically?

1. Do something you’re good at or have an inherent talent for.

Musk has many different talents–he speaks with conviction, responds fabulously to his customers, and has a knack for pulling together the resources he needs, for example. But his biggest gift, arguably, is his ability to see the genius in what other people would write off, to identify which moonshots are actually worth pursuing. And after he’s identified great moonshots, he’s able to convince others they’re doable.

2. Do something that creates value (and that you can sell now or later).

Although Musk’s cutting-edge electric cars and groundbreaking initiatives solar initiatives are geared toward those who care about the Earth, they’re highly marketable overall, appealing to the need for both travel and energy. Even space travel entices with novelty. In time, it might become a necessity, too.

3. Raw, Pure Passion.

Elon Musk doesn’t spend his days churning out complex math formulas or training with NASA. But he genuinely believes that space exploration and making humanity “a multi-planetary species” is essential to our long-term survival. In the same way, he believes that the fossil fuel industry is a danger and that electric cars and solar are legitimate paths to saving the environment. His sincere concerns drive him to keep innovating on each platform, even when others have doubts.

But what’s really made Musk successful, Cantrell says, is sheer determination. He just doesn’t give up. So dig your heels in. Don’t quit. Even if you ‘fail’, the amount of experience you gain is priceless, including what you learn about yourself. And when you’re learning, improvement is inevitable.

Tech