Company founder and CEO Elon Musk said that he’s “highly confident” SpaceX mission to mars will launch people toward the Red Planet in 2026, adding that the milestone could come as early as 2026 “if we get lucky.”
In a wide-ranging recent interview with the audio-only Clubhouse app, Musk said SpaceX mission to mars will take “five and a half years” before a crewed mission of SpaceX’s Starship rocket could land on the Red Planet.
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SpaceX mission to mars is based on SpaceX Starship which is the enormous stainless steel rocket that SpaceX has been building and testing at its development facility in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX mission to mars or Starship’s goal is to launch cargo and people on missions to the moon and Mars.
SpaceX mission to mars vehicle Starship prototypes stand at about 150 feet tall, or about the size of a 15-story building, and each one is powered by three Raptor rocket engines. Every maneuver costs fuel to fire rocket motors, and this fuel must currently be carried into space on the spacecraft.
SpaceX mission to mars plans for its crewed Starship vehicle to be refueled in space by a separately launched fuel tanker. That means much more fuel can be carried into orbit than could be carried on a single launch.
The vehicle that will make these Mars trips is the 165-foot-tall (50 meters) Starship, which will launch from Earth atop a giant rocket known as Super Heavy. Both of these craft will be fully and rapidly reusable; Super Heavy will return to Earth for vertical touchdowns shortly after liftoff, and Starship will be able to fly from Earth orbit to Mars and back again many times, Musk has said. (Starship will be powerful enough to launch itself off both Mars and the moon, which have much weaker gravitational pulls than that of Earth.)
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Musk has previously estimated that SpaceX mission to mars will cost about $5 billion to fully develop Starship, although SpaceX has not disclosed how much it has spent on the program to date. The company has steadily raised funds in the past few years, to fund Starship or its similarly ambitious SpaceX mission to mars.
“It’s been now almost half a century since humans were last on the moon. That’s too long, we need to get back there and have a permanent base on the moon — again, like a big permanently occupied base on the moon. And SpaceX mission to mars will build a city on Mars to become a spacefaring civilization, a multi-planet species,” Musk also said.
Mars has a maximum temperature of 30℃, which sounds quite pleasant, but its minimum temperature is -140℃, and its average temperature is -63℃. The average winter temperature at the Earth’s South Pole is about -49℃. The gravity on Mars is 38% of Earth’s (so you’d feel lighter) but the air is principally carbon dioxide (CO₂) with several percent of nitrogen, so it’s completely unbreathable. We would need to build a climate-controlled place just to live there.
Both Earth and Mars have (almost) circular orbits and a manoeuvre known as the Hohmann transfer is the most fuel-efficient way to travel between two planets. Basically, without going into too much detail, this is where a SpaceX mission to mars spacecraft does a single burn into an elliptical transfer orbit from one planet to the other.
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A Hohmann transfer between Earth and Mars takes around 259 days (between eight and nine months) and is only possible approximately every two years due to the different orbits around the Sun of Earth and Mars.
Establishing a permanent human presence on Mars, with its Starship rockets carrying people to and from the red planet. The biggest challenge (or constraint) is the mass of the payload (spacecraft, people, fuel, supplies, etc.) needed to make the journey.
The final Starship will sport six of SpaceX’s powerful new Raptor engines, Musk has said. Super Heavy will sport about 30 Raptors.
Despite the the prototypes’ destruction, SpaceX sees the test flights as progress toward creating a rocket that is fully reusable. SpaceX’s current Falcon fleet of rockets is partially reusable, as the company can land and reuse the rocket’s boosters.
But Musk hopes SpaceX mission to mars through Starship transforms space travel into something more akin to commercial air travel. The rocket’s enormous size would also make it capable of launching several times as much cargo at once.
Elon Musk is still confident about SpaceX mission to mars that 2026 will be the year that his space company SpaceX lands humans on Mars, where he hopes to build a human settlement.
But Musk’s timeline for SpaceX mission to mars has wavered over the past few years. The billionaire said in 2017 his “aspirational” timeline was for SpaceX mission to mars to send cargo ships to Mars in 2022, followed by a crewed mission two years later.
Musk said in January 2020 he plans to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050. This involves building 1,000 Starship rockets over 10 years — that’s 100 Starships every year — and launching an average of three Starships per day according to SpaceX mission to mars. “There will be a lot of jobs on SpaceX mission to mars!” he added.
He echoed his ambition in last December saying he is “highly confident” SpaceX mission to mars will launch an uncrewed rocket to the planet in 2024, followed by a crewed mission in 2026.
The civilian astronauts intend to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and orbit Earth every 90 minutes along a customized flight path during a multi-day journey before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the Florida coast. But Musk’s plans for SpaceX mission to mars are even bigger than multi-day journeys into space. His long-term goal is to colonize Mars through more efficient space travel methods.
Musk addressed SpaceX mission to mars ambitions first, providing current timelines he’s working toward for reaching the red planet with SpaceX’s Starship, the next-generation spacecraft it hopes to fly in a new high-altitude test sometime later this week
Asked when Musk’s own first trip to orbit would happen, he answered “possibly two or three years,” though he qualified that his primary focus is to ensure the technology is in place to enable “a lot of people to go to Mars and make life interplanetary, and to have a base on the moon
A spacecraft could reach Mars in a shorter time (SpaceX is claiming six months) but — you guessed it — it would cost more fuel to do it that way.
SpaceX mission to mars plans to launch several cargo flights including critical infrastructure such as greenhouses, solar panels and — you guessed it — a fuel-production facility for return missions to Earth.
SpaceX mission to mars Spacecraft returning from Mars will have re-entry velocities from 47,000km/h to 54,000km/h, depending on the orbit they use to arrive at Earth. They could slow down into low orbit around Earth to around 28,800km/h before entering our atmosphere but — you guessed it — they’d need extra fuel to do that.