Technology billionaire Elon Musk has big plans about setting up a human presence on Mars, and he's pressing ahead with them.
At a conference in Australia, he dropped another of his patented bombshells.
Musk told those assembled that his rocket company, SpaceX, aims to land at least two cargo ships on Mars in the year 2022.
Those ships would land to set up power, mining, and life support systems for future flights to the Red Planet.
Musk's target date is five years from now, which is ambitious by any measure.
And while he doesn't have the heavy-lift rocket he would need to get the ball rolling, he says the company will be getting to work on it in short order.
Musk said that he expected his company to start building the first of the Mars rockets by the middle of next year.
The massive rocket would be the workhorse behind these Mars missions, and Musk said the company should be able to finance them with the money it's making from its current business of launching satellites and sending supplies to the International Space Station.
The goal of getting the first ships to Mars is a part of Musk's grand initiative, dubbed "Making Life Interplanetary."
Musk has said, on multiple occasions, that if humans are to survive, the species must expand to other worlds, and not confine itself to Earth.