In a recent interview, Elon Musk said that “almost anyone” can afford a $100,000 ticket to the Red Planet. Human colonization of Mars has long been a subject of science-fiction, but if Elon Musk has his way, it might not be too long before the first manned mission to the Red Planet becomes a reality. Speaking at the Axel Springer Award in 2020, Musk claimed that the first crewed mission to Mars will happen by 2026, although he has since admitted that it might take longer to put the first human on the Red Planet.

SpaceX is planning to not only take humans to Mars in the coming years but also build a whole city as part of Elon Musk’s dreams of colonizing the Red Planet. However, while Musk and other space enthusiasts are excited about a possible manned mission to Mars, there are real challenges to making that a reality. Apart from the fact that it takes about nine months to reach the planet, there’s also no known technology to harvest Martian resources for water, fuel, and building materials, meaning everything will have to be taken from Earth, a major impediment for Mars tourism.

Related: When Are Humans Going To Mars? Here’s Everything We Know

In a recent conversation with TED chief Chris Anderson, Elon Musk claimed that most people should be able to afford a hypothetical $100,000 ticket for a trip to Mars. Musk was replying to a question about the price for a trip to the Red Planet and said that the actual ticket price would be dictated by economics. According to Musk, “I think almost anyone can work and save up and eventually have $100,000 and be able to go to Mars if they want.” He also reiterated his stance that for Mars tourism to catch on, it has to be relatively affordable for the vast majority of people, but he might be surprised to know that most people wouldn’t call $100,000 ‘affordable’, not by a long stretch.

Not Everyone Can Afford A Trip To Mars

Astronaut on Mars

While the $100,000 cost that Musk talked about in his interview with Anderson was only hypothetical, he had earlier claimed that the estimated cost for tickets to Mars would be between $100,000 and $500,000. Replying to a question from a Twitter user back in 2019, Musk said that the exact price for a trip to Mars would depend on volume, although he was confident that it would cost less than $500,000. He added that it could even go below $100,000, allowing most people in developed countries to sell their earthly possessions and move permanently to the Red Planet.

While Musk was only talking in hypothetical terms, his view that $100,000 is affordable for most people is raising some eyebrows. Many commentators are holding it up as yet another example of how embarrassingly out-of-touch billionaires like Elon Musk are with the realities of regular people who don’t have $100,000 nest eggs to fund fancy space trips.