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Humanity's brutal and bellicose past provides ample justification for pursuing settlements on the moon and Mars, Elon Musk says. The billionaire entrepreneur has long stressed that he founded SpaceX in 2002 primarily to help make humanity a multiplanet species — a giant leap that would render us much less vulnerable to extinction. Human civilization faces many grave threats over the long haul, from asteroid strikes and climate change to artificial intelligence run amok, Musk has said over the years. And he recently highlighted our well-documented inability to get along with each other as another frightening factor. "Last century, we had two massive world wars — three if you count the Cold War," Musk said earlier this month at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. "I think it's unlikely that we'll never have another world war again." He emphasized that he's not predicting an imminent global conflict, only that one is likely to occur at some point in the future, given humanity's track record. If and when that next big war occurs, Musk added, it could usher in a planet-wide "dark ages." "Then we want to make sure that there's enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back and perhaps shorten the length of the dark ages," he said. "I think a moon base and a Mars base that could perhaps help regenerate life back here on Earth would be really important, and to get that done before a possible World War III."