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Elon Musk: ‘I’ll be surprised if we're not landing on Mars within five years' By CNBC Elon Musk says he has a new timeline for his big Mars project - and it's sooner than you might think. "I'll be surprised if we're not landing on Mars within five years,' Musk told Time Magazine about SpaceX taking humankind to Mars in a story published this week. Musk, the 50-year-old SpaceX founder and CEO who was named Time’s Person of the Year, has big plans for the Red Planet: namely, a self-sustaining city with solar-powered hydroponic farms where humans can permanently live, 34 million miles away from Earth. "The next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there", Musk told Time.