The fast way is much more … interesting.
"The fast way is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles," said Musk with a completely straight face.
"You're a supervillain!" Colbert said. "Superman doesn't say, 'let's drop nuclear bombs.' That's Lex Luthor, man."
And how does Musk propose getting to Mars affordably? Why, with his reusable SpaceX rockets, of course. The last test of that technology, which involved landing the craft on a floating barge in the ocean, failed spectacularly when it tipped over and exploded.
But within two to three years, Musk told Colbert, it'll be ready for human passengers. Yes, really -- Musk thinks that people like you or I could hop in a SpaceX craft and start jetting around in space.
Is it ready? It'll have to be: SpaceX really wants to use its reusable rockets to bring NASA astronauts to the International Space Station within the next couple years, said Musk.
What could go wrong?