Musk promises 1st 'up-and-down flight' for SpaceX Mars rocket next year

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 14, 2018

This warning came after a positive declaration: "We are building the first ship, the first Mars or interplanetary ship right now and I think we'll be able to do short flights, short up and down flights, probably in the first half of next year", Musk predicted.

His spaceship is being built and the test flights will be short, up-and-down trips, Musk told an audience Sunday, adding that the ship will be fully reusable.

"For the early people that go to Mars, it will be far more risky", Musk told HLN on Monday. "But there will be some who will, for whom the excitement of frontier and exploration exceeds the danger", he added.

PHOTO: Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, attends SXSW to answer questions from registrants at ACL live, March 11, 2018, in Austin, Texas.

Either way, the South African-born engineer conceded, his timeline for launching test flight rockets to Mars is "optimistic". "Once we have it, we'll have a sort-of point of proof, something that other countries and companies will go and do", he said. After all, he has said he thinks it will be possible to establish colonies of settlers on the Red Planet in the future. SpaceX conducted a successful launch and retrieval of its reusable Falcon Heavy rocket last month.

The reusability of rockets is considered a breakthrough, according to Musk, and it dramatically lowers the marginal cost per flight. The new SpaceX Falcon heavy rocket has also suffered delays before its maiden flight on February 6 this year, which, in a cosmic gimmick, launched a Tesla Roadster convertible vehicle towards Mars.

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