"I'd like to die on Mars, just not on impact," he said.
The 41-year-old, South African-born American entrepreneur, who also co-founded Tesla Motors and PayPal, said it would be his life's biggest disappointment if someone doesn't make it to the Red Planet before he dies, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Musk revealed to the crowd of several thousand people that SpaceX launched a 10-story, reusable rocket Saturday. He said it rose about 263 feet into the air, hovered, then landed safely on the launch pad 34 seconds later thanks to its thrust vector and throttle control, the newspaper said.
"It can land on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter," Musk said.
The crowd got to see a video of the test. Musk said it was the first time anyone aside from the video editor and himself had seen it.