SpaceX’s goal was to send the first humans to Mars by 2024, but in October 2020 Elon Musk picked 2024 as the go-to missile. At the Axel Springer 2020 Award, Elon Musk said he had high hopes that the first crew flight to Mars would take place in 2026.
On Wednesday, Musk revealed on Twitter that he now sees 2029 as the first day people can enter Mars.
Why Only The Year 2029?
Since landing on Mars takes planning. As Mars and Earth revolve around the sun, the two planets come closer and closer together. Taking advantage of times when travel between the two planets is very short requires a presentation between certain windows. Suitable windows for the launch of Mars in ten years are late 2024, late 2026 and late 2028 / early 2029.
It seems that Musk’s early wishes were extremely positive. If his target date goes further, by the 2030s, it will be in the area where NASA has been aiming to send the first astronauts to Mars.
SpaceX’s Mars Mission
The Mars SpaceX program is a development program initiated by Elon Musk and SpaceX to facilitate the ultimate colonization of Mars. This program includes fully reusable launch vehicles, man-made spacecraft, overbound tanks, rotating ramps / landings, and the production of rocket fuel on Mars by In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU).
One of the key features of the program is planned to be the SpaceX Starship, a re-launch super-heavy lift car that can be reused from 2018. In order to meet the high payload, the spacecraft will first land on the runway, where it is expected to be refueled earlier, goes to Mars.
After reaching Mars, the spacecraft would be loaded with locally produced propellants to return to Earth. The expected load of a Starship launch vehicle is to inject between 100–150 tons (220,000–330,000 lb) to Mars.
SpaceX aims to focus its resources on the transport component of the Mars colonization project, which includes a Sabatier-based propulsion plant project to be deployed on Mars to integrate methane and liquid oxygen as rockets from space carbon offset, carbon dioxide and groundwater.
However, Musk has promoted since 2016 a large set of long-term goals for Mars’ residency, which goes much further than the SpaceX projects that will be built; any successful colonization will ultimately involve economic involvement whether individuals, corporations, or governments in order to facilitate the growth of human presence on Mars for decades, or even centuries.
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