A top scientist has called billionaire Elon Musk's plans for a colony on Mars by 2050 a "dangerous delusion".
The billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors is known for his whacky ideas, such as building underground tunnels for cars to ease traffic instead of simply encouraging people to use public transport.
The latest vision dreamed up by Musk is somewhat more ambitious, with even the sky seemingly not being the limit for the billionaire.
Musk's plan to put start a colony on Mars by 2050 has been condemned by Astronomer Royal Professor Lord Martin Rees, who has said it is a "delusion" while humanity faces far more pressing problems back on Earth.
Nonetheless, the astronomer royal did say he thinks that it is preferable that large private investors bear the brunt of the cost of human space exploration, instead of that cost being imposed on the taxpayer.
He told the Sun: "Dealing with climate change and other environmental problems, the Earth is really a doddle compared to making Mars terraformed and inhabitable.
"We think there will be some crazy adventurers later this century who will go to Mars to build a little colony and maybe some will go with one way trips.
"We should cheer on that sort of thing but it is an adventure, just as we can admire people who do other crazy stunts and we can admire them, but that should be the future for space exploration."
Lord Rees went on to argue that the future of space exploration is more likely to lie with robots which will be far cheaper to send out and which can go much further.
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In terms of understanding and exploring the universe further, this represents a far more practical way of looking into the stars than expensive and impractical human travel.
Providing the systems necessary to support life for such long journeys makes human space travel far more costly than using robots.
But despite this, Lord Rees said that he still believes humans will one day walk on the Red Planet.
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