Neil deGrasse Tyson, the ever-witty astrophysicist who delivers the truth about space and science to the masses, held a Reddit AMA on Sunday, and it included a playful challenge to SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
When asked about SpaceX’s recent Falcon 9 mission and whether he’d ever consider making a trip to Mars via SpaceX, Tyson kept it far realer than many might have expected.
“I really like Earth. So any space trip I take, I’m double checking that there’s sufficient funds for me to return,” said Tyson.
But then came the zinger, “Also, I’m not taking that trip until Elon Musk send[s] his Mother and brings her back alive. Then I’m good for it.”
That challenge to Musk would not only ask the SpaceX founder to put his own family on the line in the name of space colonization, it would also put the mogul’s mother in the spotlight, something she’s actually quite used to.
However, when it comes to the topic of Mars, Maye Musk has already made her decision: It’s not gonna happen.
“I’m not moving to Mars,” she told us last year. “Frankly, it’s because they need the younger people there like engineers to create a future. They don’t need me.”
For the record, Elon has indicated in recent talks that even he isn’t planning on traveling to Mars (mainly to ensure that SpaceX continues in the event something goes wrong during his space flight). Therefore, it looks like the two of the biggest names in space, Tyson and Musk, will mostly be sitting on the sidelines when the real space colonization begins.