spacex mars 9
A model of what the first people to step Mars might see. SpaceX

Elon Musk's name is associated with Tesla, SpaceX and of course Mars colonies, but what about other planets and objects in space? At a talk at the International Space Station Research and Development conference in Washington D.C., Musk said he believes having some sort of moon base would help further his mission to the Red Planet.

On stage Wednesday he told Kirk Shireman, ISS program manager, that getting a base on the moon would help get people “fired up” about space. “If we wanna get the public real fired up, we’ve got to have a base on the moon,” after pausing for some applause from the crowd he said, “That would be pretty cool, and then going beyond that getting people to Mars.”

Read: 8 Photos That Show What SpaceX And Elon Musk Think Traveling To Mars Will Look Like

In the detailed plans to visit Mars that Musk has revealed in the past at conferences and in writing, the moon was never really mentioned. The moon also played no part in a video of the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System that Musk revealed at the International Astronautical Congress last year.

But on Wednesday when Shireman asked Musk what he believes the future of commercialized space travel will look like he brought up the moon. “Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would the kind of moon base and then getting people to Mars and beyond. And you know that’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo that people are really looking for,” he said on stage.

Musk also said that he is hoping to discuss how his plans to reach Mars have changed since his presentation last year at the upcoming International Astronautical Congress. So it’s possible that some sort of plans for a moon colony or base could be included in those new Mars plans.

Read: Mission To Mars: Will NASA Or SpaceX And Elon Musk Get There First?

During the ISS R&D conference Wednesday he only mentioned that the plans had “evolved quite a bit” and that the key thing SpaceX had figured out was how to pay to go to Mars. Plans to downsize the Mars vehicle and “make it capable of doing Earth-orbit activity as well as Mars activity” would hopefully help with the sky-high travel costs. Musk also said that the revised plans are a little more realistic, “I think this one’s got a shot at being real on the economic front,” he said with a slight laugh to sum up.

While fielding questions from the crowd Musk said he saw a way for his Boring Company to overlap with colonization plans. It’s unclear whether this will also be involved in the updated plans he hopes to present at the next IAC.

You can watch his talk with ISS Program Director Kirk Shireman below: