As Coachella raged, the L.A. tech world made plans to live on Mars

Source: LA Times

The only in-flight beverages on the 11-seat private jet were bottled water and a genetically modified bacterial slurry designed to prevent the worst effects of hangovers.

A handful of passengers on the short evening flight from Hawthorne to the edge of the Mojave — venture capitalists, a man with a mushroom-based manufacturing company and this reporter — downed the mixture. The pilot, along with two senior SpaceX engineers, politely declined.

At the Apple Valley Airport, a helicopter waited to take us beyond a far ridge, farther from civilization. Miles from paved roads were two tents, a ring of shipping containers and an “H” painted on the dirt marking a makeshift helipad.

 

One hundred miles to the southeast, masses of festival heads were gathering in the desert for Coachella’s first April weekend. But this small crew of space scientists, synthetic biologists, investors, entrepreneurs and one partygoer with flamethrower had higher ambitions.

By jet, bus and more than a few Teslas, they came to this desolate valley for Betaspace: a one-night, invite-only confab for the not-quite-yet-burgeoning space settlement industry.

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