Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait lately visited the SpaceX manufacturing factory. His stay at SpaceX manufacturing factory also involved a chat with CEO Elon Musk. This should stimulate you. Plait is an excellent nerd, and Elon Musk is (you know) Elon Musk. Get them together and you're certain to get good things (the quote up top, for example). Plait narrated his chat with Musk, and its thoughtful effect on his view of SpaceX's Martian ambitions, in a must-read blog post:
We talked about various topics for a while—the movie Interstellar, the history of SpaceX, terraforming Mars … and that was when I said something dumb. “I know Mars is a long-term goal for SpaceX,” I started. Then, pretty much as an aside, I said, “because you want to retire on Mars … ” Musk got a pained look on his face. “No, that’s wrong. That’s not why I want to get to Mars. That quote is from an article in the Guardian. They pushed me for a sound bite, asking if I wanted to retire on Mars. I eventually said yes. When I retire—hopefully before I go senile—and eventually die, then Mars is as good a place to die as any.” That line made me laugh; it’s far better than anything printed in the Guardian article. But still, I was taken aback. “OK then, the article wanted a sexy quote and got one. But if that’s not the reason, what is it?” Musk didn’t hesitate. “Humans need to be a multiplanet species,” he replied. And pretty much at that moment my thinking reorganized itself.
You can read the rest of the article at Slate.