Elon Musk 'speculation' could send a spacecraft to Mars by SpaceX 2024

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 17, 2020

During an interview Mars Society Virtual Conference On Friday, Musk said he expects his next-generation Starship spacecraft to be ready soon in 2023, at the launch window in 2024. NASA, China and the United Arab Emirates all launched Mars missions in July this year.

Muscat has long argued that humans need to establish a permanent and self-sustaining presence on Mars with a "continuum of consciousness as we know it" - something like planetary nuclear war or a planetary storm will stop living on Earth.

The mission will launch to the Red Planet on a SpaceX Starship The vehicle, a reusable rocket and spacecraft combo, is now under development at the company's South Texas facility. SpaceX will also fly space tourists to the moon in 2023 via another Starship mission while Musk's company was also picked up by NASA as among the three commercial teams to develop moon landers for its Artemis program.

Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin said during the convention that SpaceX is taking on the biggest single challenge, which is the transportation system.

But SpaceX has no plans to build a Mars base. As a transportation company, its sole goal is to transport goods (and humans) to and from the Red Planet, making it easier to develop a Mars base for someone else. There is a need for a variety of other systems, "said Robert Zubrin, founder of the Mars Society".

"I personally hope that we will see the spacecraft in the stratosphere before the end of this year, and if Elon is right, we will reach orbit next year or the following year", Zubrin added. "This will change people's minds about what's possible".

In this SpaceX handout image, a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft launches on the Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard at Launch Complex 39A May 30, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

If Musk's predictions are correct - he is known for providing overly ambitious timelines - the first SpaceX mission will launch to Mars in the same year that NASA astronauts return to the moon as part of the Artemis program.

"I think we've got a fight chance", Musk said of creating the 2024 Mars traffic window.

Muscat unveiled SpaceX's starship plans in 2016. The project aims to launch a 165-foot (50 meters) spacecraft over a massive booster for deep space missions to the Moon, Mars and elsewhere. Both the enhanced Starship and Super Heavy will be reusable.

This year, SpaceX launched two test flights of the Starship prototypes, Called SN5 and SN6, From its Boca Chika test site in Texas. These flights reached an altitude of 500 feet (150 meters).

SpaceX is now building another Starship prototype, Called SN8, For a 12-mile-high (20 km) test flight in the near future.

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