Elon Musk invited by Russian space chief to discuss exploration and alien life

Elon Musk has been invited by Russia's space chief to discuss space exploration and the possibility of alien life.

Mr Musk, who is one of the world's richest man, is trying to push the boundaries with his SpaceX company and has been open in his ambition to one day colonise Mars.

Now Dimitry Rogozin, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, is inviting him to his home to discuss a range of topics.

Mr Rogozin told CNN: "Mr Elon Musk realises many of the ideas and thoughts that we wanted to realise, but did not get to because, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, our space program halted for some time.

"We respect him as an organiser of the space industry and as an inventor, who is not afraid to take risk."

The space chief added that he wished to discuss "exploring the universe, extraterrestrial life and how we can use space to preserve life on Earth" during his mooted meeting with the SpaceX boss.

Mr Rogozin said: "I already set the teakettle on heat."

Mr Musk responded to the invitation on Twitter, asking Mr Rogozin what his favourite kind of tea is.

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Mr Rogozin said he envies what Mr Musk is doing with his company and his ambition to push the boundaries of space tourism, along with his billionaire rivals Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin and Sir Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic.

He said: "I like what your people are doing – people who spend their own money on things useful for overall society.

"Our millionaires prefer to invest more in yachts rather than in spaceships. But maybe kids of current Russian millionaires will be much more wise creatures."

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No date has been set for a potential meeting.

The interview comes days after SpaceX showed off new images of the glass dome that astronauts on the upcoming Inspiration4 mission will be able to view space from.

It is aiming for an altitude of 335 miles, 75 miles higher than the International Space Station and on a level with the Hubble Space Telescope.

Unlike the flights Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos took earlier this summer, this trip will go into orbit.

Mr Musk has previously said the world's overpopulation is the biggest problem humanity will face in the coming years.

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He has claimed this could be solved by humans colonising Mars, saying he is "highly confident" humans can land on Mars by 2026.

"The important thing is that we establish Mars as a self-sustaining civilisation," Mr Musk said.

But the possibility of living by Mars has been described as a "dangerous delusion" by astrophysicist Martin Rees, who added: "Living on Mars is no better than living on the South Pole or the tip of Mount Everest."

Mr Musk has said he plans to send at least one million people to Mars by 2050.

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