“Honestly, a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning,” barefoot SpaceX founder Elon Musk told XPrize founder Peter Diamandis in a recent interview about the first crewed missions to Mars. 

SpaceX has had its sights set on Mars since Musk formed the company in 2002. And for years, Musk, who became a tech billionaire before launch SpaceX’s, has been very candid about the risks that come with the territory of human spaceflight to the Red Planet. In fact, in 2017, Musk said at the International Astronautical Congress that the first humans to journey to Mars should be “prepared to die.”