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September 8, 2017
Q. What are the odds on a few scientific breakthroughs for humanity within the next 10 years or so, such as establishing a permanent Mars colony and cloning humans?
A. Consultant Michael Brooks, writing in New Scientist magazine, asked the experts and bookmaker PaddyPower for their input. For a permanent Mars colony by 2027, the bookie's odds were 33/1. Recently, billionaire venture capitalist Elon Musk announced plans to establish a Mars colony in the 2020s, but astrobiologist Lewis Darnell is skeptical: It's an 18-month trip from Earth, and “Mars is a brutal and unforgiving environment,” a daunting place indeed to establish a self-governing human colony that's food and energy independent. He hopes for a colony within 50 years but thinks even that is overly optimistic.
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