We may be decades away from truly commercial space travel but that hasn’t stopped some, well, regular human beings from planning ahead. Gizmodo learned that 22 people enrolled with the investment service Betterment, have been stashing money away in accounts labeled under “Space” and “Mars.”
According to Dan Egan, Betterment’s VP of Behavioral Finance, the inroads Elon Musk has made with his company SpaceX are a big reason why some people are thinking so far ahead.
“I think there’s a nice dovetail here with Elon [Musk] and SpaceX, who are looking far into the future of where humanity is going to be, and what we need to do to bootstrap ourselves into the stars,” he said. “The whole idea is that over time, the price of [space travel] will come down, and if our customers start saving, they’re going to be able to afford that.”
Musk — whose quest to normalize space travel made a huge leap forward when SpaceX successfully launched and landed a refurbished Falcon 9 rocket — estimates that a trip to Mars will run the average person $200,000. That basically comes out to a year’s salary for Betterment’s average client. One of those clients is lawyer Michael Cappo, who spoke to Gizmodo about why he’s saving up for a future trip to outer space.
“Growing up, my dad was really into sci-fi and aliens,” he said. “So I’ve always had an interest in space, and combining that with really liking to travel…it would be a fun adventure.”
So how far away is Cappo from turning fantasy into reality? Nnext year SpaceX plans to send two passengers on a trip around the moon. It looks like he might be busting open his piggy bank sooner than later.