WASHINGTON - Bases on the moon and Mars could help preserve human civilisation 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.
There is "some probability" that there will be another Dark Ages, "particularly if there is a third world war," Musk said at the SXSW conference.
"We want to make sure that there's enough of a seed of human civilisation somewhere else to bring civilisation 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."
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 toward an orbit near Mars.