"It's not a given that things improve. There has to be a forcing function. People ... do it."
"...if it turns out that having way stations makes that trip [to mars] more efficient over time then people will build those stations. As soon as you've got that destination, you've got the forcing function, then you'll see people do whatever seems sensible to make that better. You definitely don't need to have to mine asteroid resources to get people to Mars."
"I think the whole interplanetary human flight thing being a danger to human beings is somewhat overblown." / "[Solar flares] are often thought about in the wrong way ... you'd have a column of water, pointed at the sun and you'd be in front of the column. ... so it doesn't end up being a big deal." / "...there's loss of life in every mode of transport. If one set a standard that you couldn't have loss of life, then there would be no transport. You wouldn't even be allowed to walk. You have to allow for some amount of risk."
"...so long as I'm not delusion or haven't made some significant error..." / "I think it is very important to actively seek out and listen very carefully to negative feedback." / "I also think it is important to reason from first principles, rather than, by analogy."
"We want [SpaceX] to be like the shipping compan[ies] that brought people from Europe to America." / "I'm not opposed to selling [vehicles] and having others operate them." / "Life cannot just be about solving this problem or that problem, there must be things that when you wake up in the morning you're glad to be alive, and that I think is, to me, the most important reason we should pursue the establishment of life on Mars."
"The [Falcon Heavy] payload to Mars [13.6mt] would be about a quarter of its payload to LEO ... To the Moon [about 16mt.]"
"We are building our production capability and our launch capability to meet [a] demand [of] 20 launches a year ... without [needing] any miracles."
"NASA issued an RFP for design ideas on a super heavy. We're one of the companies that NASA awarded. It's a small contract, a few hundred thousand dollars, but we're exploring with NASA how to do a 150 metric ton to orbit capability." / "You've gotta.. you show a little leg, but not all of it."
"...people are under the impression that NASA is the vast majority of our business, but actually they're the biggest single customer but they're only about a quarter of our orders." / "...the great majority of our missions are actually commercial missions. They're satellite launch missions, and that's both for our Falcon 9 rocket and our Falcon Heavy rocket and we're hopeful that Dragon can have some commercial use as well."
"I'm hopeful that the first human mission to Mars is actually some collaboration of private industry and government, but I think we need to be prepared for the possibility that it has to be just commercial."
[What do you do on Mars?] "...Exploring a new planet, I think, would be pretty interesting, and then building the infrastructure necessary to make life self-sustaining on Mars." / "Paypal would be, like, super-trivial in a new environment [like mars.]" / [Why not space colonies?] "Why move mass from one place to another instead of just going to where that mass is in the first place?" / "Once we've got a large base on Mars, and a lot of travel between the planets, that's a great forcing function for the improvement of space transport technology. I think we'll see rapid improvement and all sorts of inventions that we just can't envision today."
"...if something is important enough then you do it even though the risk of failure is high." / "If you can show people that there is a way, then there is plenty of will." / "I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just [not at impact.]"
"There's potential to turn [Dragon] into a generalized science instrument delivery platform, for anywhere in the solar system." / "I think the economic exchange between a Mars base and Earth would be mostly in the form of intellectual property."
"We've got about three billion dollars in revenue under contract. ... spread out over the next five years." / "With respect to China, we have a conscious strategy of filing the absolute minimum number of patents."
"it's just crazy how much [government] regulation there is." / "It's not easy to get [completely anachronistic] regulations changed." / "I'm generally a fan of minimal government interference in the economy." / "I should first of all say that SpaceX would not be where it is without the help of NASA, both historically the great things that NASA has done and currently with the business that NASA gives us, and the expert advice and everything, so I should make sure to strongly credit NASA in this arena in terms of how helpful they've been."