These first spaceships would most likely serve as homes for astronauts, Wooster said in August. It's unknown whether terraforming could be done in a sustainable amount of time on Mars. "He's paying a lot of money that would help with the ship and its booster," Musk said in September. Musk was frustrated that NASA wasn't doing more to get people to the red planet — and concerned that a backup plan for humanity wasn't being developed (for when Earth becomes an uninhabitable wasteland). Entrepreneur Store scours the web for the newest software, gadgets & web services. Staff Writer. Last fall, Musk said he anticipated that the first manned mission to the planet would commence in 2026 and land on Mars in 2027. SpaceX needs a place to test-launch its spaceship prototype, and the southern tip of Texas gives the company a few benefits. I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy. SpaceX founder and CEO Musk spoke at length on Friday during the International Mars Society Convention via Zoom. "I hope people start to think of it as a real goal to which we should aspire, to establish a civilization on Mars," Musk said in 2017. Earlier this year, Musk stated that SpaceX’s manned missions to Mars could begin as soon as 2022, which is a full three years sooner than his previous estimate of 2025. Terraforming is a type of climate change, but deliberate and more rapid than what's happening on Earth right now. Though SpaceX had worked to prepare for its first robotic mission to Mars with its Dragon spacecraft in 2018, Elon Musk's company will now shoot to make the trip in 2020. The rockets can also be launched over the Gulf of Mexico, posing even less of a risk to people or objects on the ground. A mission, named Red Dragon, to Mars is now set to launch in 2020 so that SpaceX can focus on other equally ambitious projects like their commercial crew program and Falcon Heavy programs. The CEO previously revealed, SpaceX aims to build 1,000 Starships at a … For one, SpaceX can (presumably cheaply) transport enormous rocket parts over water by barge from Los Angeles, through the Panama Canal, to Boca Chica. Experimenting with terraforming may be only one way to tell whether it's possible. "We're still aiming for 2024," Musk said of such a mission during an interview on October 31 with journalist Kara Swisher for the podcast Recode Decode. Musk has even said nuking Mars might help. That's why SpaceX is taking the lessons the company has learned over the past 16 years — and its increasing amount of money and staff — and using them to build a space vehicle called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR. Timelines are unreliable when it comes to human spaceflight, but Musk's ambitious estimates of when SpaceX might reach Mars reveal his zeal to accomplish that goal. "He's ultimately paying for the average citizen to travel to other planets.". Should the technique prove to be successful, this lander will be the biggest vehicle to land on the planet thus far. Starship will enter Mars’ atmosphere at 7.5 kilometers per second and decelerate aerodynamically. If all these missions make their targets, it will indeed be a busy 2020 for the red planet. Know the latest in healthcare industry with our Healthcare newsletter. Do we really need to explore Mars? That makes it comparable to a vacuum chamber. The CEO previously revealed, SpaceX aims to build 1,000 Starships at a facility in South Texas over a 10-year period. That stuff would be needed for humans to build facilities that can generate power, gather water, bottle up the thin Martian air, and turn those raw resources into methane fuel and oxygen for return launches back to Earth. Paul Wooster, SpaceX's principal Mars development engineer, gave some new details about this in August. Otherwise, the parts would have to be flown or driven in a truck over land. SpaceX is also meeting with NASA and other parties to workshop its Mars mission plans, though it still has a lot of work to do to figure out how to keep passengers safe from radiation, starvation, and themselves. Musk has said his "aspirational" timeline has 2022 as the date for the launch of the first Big Falcon Spaceship missions to Mars. Musk discussed the timeline his company is following for its first uncrewed mission to Mars, saying that the company is on track to launch the mission in as little as four years. This story has been updated. Additionally, few people live in the area, which is a good thing for a company that's filling a gigantic, experimental spaceship full of explosive liquids and lighting them on fire. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. The CEO previously revealed, SpaceX aims to build 1,000 Starships at a … "And then really there's going to be an explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity.". On February 7, 2018, Falcon Heavy made its first launch to orbit, successfully landing 2 of its 3 boosters and launching its payload to space. Elon Musk's SpaceX is almost ready to begin its construction of a Martian city as it will soon launch its first Starship mission to Mars by 2024. Moving the launch to 2020 also means that SpaceX will be able to join several other Mars-bound expeditions stemming from government agencies and private outfits. That's 100 rockets per year. The 2020 planned lander will be critical for future possible manned missions as it will test technology required to land heavy equipment on the Martian surface—a task that, given Mars’ unfamiliar terrain and thin atmosphere, could be difficult to execute. Because of that, the best months to launch would be the summer of 2022. However, Musk said in September there had been no decision on a timeframe, adding that he wanted to pull off several uncrewed orbital test-launches before putting any people on board. The CEO previously revealed, SpaceX aims to build 1,000 Starships at a facility in South Texas over a 10-year period. Musk is aiming for Mars cargo missions by 2022 and a manned Mars mission by 2024. Mars has less than 1% of the atmospheric density at its surface compared with Earth. However, if Musk’s previous accomplishments are any indication, it will only be a little bit longer. Depending on how efficiently the Big Falcon Spaceship can change its speed — its "delta-V" — it could take anywhere from a few months to nearly a year to reach Mars. Falcon Heavy is the world’s most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two, capable of carrying large payloads to orbit and supporting missions as far as the Moon or Mars. "So we’re looking more for the 2020 timeframe for that.”, Related: Watch Elon Musk's View of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Landing. Musk wants the first spaceships to be full of cargo and machines that future missions would require. By transporting far more supplies than any crew would need for a yearslong Mars mission — along with bulky gear — SpaceX might circumvent the need for advanced (and as-yet-nonexistent) technologies that'd otherwise be required to stay on Mars. Musk said Friday the company is on track to reach Mars by 2024. NASA doubts it's possible at all, since there may not be enough gases trapped in the poles to feed a cozy planetary atmosphere. Rockets from the Falcon 9 family have been launched 99 times over 10 years, resulting in 97 full mission successes (97.98%), one partial success (SpaceX CRS-1 delivered its cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), but a secondary payload was stranded in a lower-than-planned orbit), and one failure (the SpaceX CRS-7 spacecraft was lost in flight). Astounding ingenuity is required to land even a small spacecraft there today, let alone a giant spaceship full of people and cargo in the future. Now, a new announcement from SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell confirms that they are changing the timeline yet again. Elon Musk is hell-bent on colonizing Mars. Now, a new announcement from SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell confirms that they are changing the timeline yet again. Jumpstart Your Business. In September, Musk introduced the world to SpaceX's first space tourist hopeful: Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire who is paying SpaceX an undisclosed sum (likely hundreds of millions of dollars) to be the first passenger aboard the BFR. They also don't investigate whether any chemical-rich comets and asteroids could be redirected to strike Mars. Yet this is precisely what Musk aims to do: build a backup drive for humanity on the red planet. Mars and Earth get close to each other about once every two years, creating windows of time when it's quicker to reach the planet. The company is aiming to launch two years later. The following (somewhat speculative) timeline of SpaceX's plan is based on our reporting as well as dates compiled by the Reddit community r/SpaceX.