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To date, the Earth has had five mass extinction events, with the most famous one being the giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. The devastation caused by the asteroid was historic. Seventy-six percent of the world’s species were wiped out by the asteroid impact and its subsequent after effects.
Now, scientists have found evidence the sixth mass extinction event is currently underway, based on a comprehensive study on biodiversity loss of the Earth.
Responding to a discussion about this topic, Mr Musk tweeted: “There is a 100 percent chance of all species extinction due to expansion of the sun unless humanity makes life multi-planetary.”
The billionaire entrepreneur’s statements may be a little misleading.
While the Sun is expected to expand and engulf the earth, incinerating everything in its path, this is not likely to happen for another couple of billion years.
Mr Musk has previously stated that he wanted to make sure humanity is able to leave the planet before “Earth gets too hot for life in about 500 million years”.
The richest man in the world, with a net worth of upwards of 270 billion dollars, has made it his mission to make humanity a multi-planetary species, through a colony on Mars.
He believes that SpaceX will be able to send a crewed flight to Mars in 2026.
While speaking on the Lex Friedman Podcast, he remarked that the window is now open for humans to leave the planet
The billionaire found of SpaceX is building the Starship rocket that will be able to take humanity to the Red Planet.
Through the Starship project, he hopes to colonise the hostile Red Planet and construct cities among its craters by 2050.
His project has already seen SpaceX secure a multi-million-dollar contract with Nasa.
Mr Musk’s aerospace company is aiming to launch crewed missions to Mars as early as 2024.
According to SpaceX’s user guide for Starships, to fulfil the company’s ambitions they will need to build up to 100 rockets a year
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Each one will be capable of housing 100 crew members and boasting “private cabins, large common areas, centralised storage, solar storm shelters and a viewing gallery”.
While global extinction due to an exploding Sun may be millennia in the future, scientists are currently warning of large scale species extinction, caused due to human activity driven climate change.
Robert Cowie, research professor at the UH Mānoa Pacific Biosciences Research Center in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), said: “Drastically increased rates of species extinctions and declining abundances of many animal and plant populations are well documented, yet some deny that these phenomena amount to mass extinction.
“Including invertebrates was key to confirming that we are indeed witnessing the onset of the Sixth Mass Extinction in Earth’s history.”
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