Elon Musk said he could see a 4-year timeline for SpaceX’s first mission to Mars.
SpaceX founder and CEO Musk spoke at length Friday at the International Mars Society Convention via Zoom. Musk discussed the timeline his company is following for its first unmanned mission to Mars, saying the company is on track to launch the mission in just four years.
“I think we have a chance to fight that second transfer window to Mars,” said Musk, who would launch a launch in 2024.
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He said setting that launch date would require the development team to innovate more and that the company “will likely lose some ships.”
The company is looking to develop Starship, which is designed to carry dozens of people on long-haul flights so that it is possible to colonize Mars. Starship will be “the most powerful launch vehicle in the world ever developed,” according to the SpaceX website.
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The prototype vehicles have so far made low-flying “leaps” from the SpaceX test facility in Texas, CNET reported.
The company may also be able to demonstrate orbital refueling capabilities by 2022, which will allow for test flights to the moon.
“These are just guesses,” Musk cautioned, however.
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Additionally, SpaceX has no plans to develop bases on Mars, according to Space.com. The company only deals with transport, with the aim of ferrying cargo and crew to Mars: someone else will have to develop the means of colonization.