SpaceX is almost ready to start building a permanent human colony on Mars with its giant starship rocket.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, told the International Mars Society conference on Friday (October 16th) that the private spaceflight company is set to launch its first inaugural mission to Mars in less than four years from now.
“I think we have a chance to fight to create another Mars transfer window,” Musk said in a discussion with Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin. You can watch the replay here.
That window musk is a launch opportunity that occurs every 26 months for a mission to Mars. NASA, China and the United Arab Emirates all launched efforts on Mars in July this year. The next window opens in 2022 with Musk mentioning the chance of a 2024 Mars launch.
The mission will land the Red Planet on the SpaceX Starship vehicle, a reusable rocket and spacecraft, the Combo, which is currently under development at the company’s South Texas facility. SpaceX also plans to use Starships for missions to the moon starting in 2022, as well as for point-to-point trips around the Earth.
Related: Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceX’s Mars-colonizing vehicles in images
Kasturi has long said that humans need to establish a permanent and self-sufficient presence on Mars to ensure “continuity of consciousness as we know it” – just as the earth is inhabited by something like a nuclear war or a planetary strike.
But SpaceX really has no plans to build a Mars base. As a transport company, its sole goal is to ferry cargo (and humans) to and from the Red Planet to facilitate the development of anyone else’s Mars base.
“SpaceX is taking on the biggest single challenge, which is the transport system,” Mars Society founder Robert Zuber said during the conference. There will be a need for all other types of systems, said Robert Zuber, founder of the Mars Society, during the conference.
“My personal hope is that we’ll see a starship in the straight hip sphere just before this year, and if Elon is OK, get into orbit next year or next year.” “This will change what is possible in people’s minds. And then, you know, we will have NASA that will find entrepreneurs moving forward to develop the remaining pieces of the puzzle or the remaining pieces of funding.”
If Musk’s predictions are correct – he is known for providing more ambitious timelines – SpaceX’s first Mars mission will begin the same year as the NASA astronaut returns to the moon under the Artemis program. SpaceX also plans to fly astronauts on a starship mission to the moon in 2023. NASA has also selected SpaceX as one of three commercial teams to develop lunar landers for the Artemis program.
Musk said on Friday that if it weren’t for orbiting mechanics that eclipse Mars every 26 months, SpaceX would have a shot at sending or trying to send something to Mars in three years, Earth and Mars added. Will not be in the best condition. “But the window is four years away, because it’s in different parts of the solar system.”
Kasturi unveiled SpaceX’s starship plans in 2016. The project aims to launch a 165-foot (50-meter) spacecraft over a giant booster for deep space missions to the moon, Mars and elsewhere. Both Starship and its super heavy booster will be reusable.
This year SpaceX launched two test flights of Starship prototypes from its Boca Chika test site in Texas, called SN5 and SN6. Those flights reached an altitude of 500 feet (150 meters).
SpaceX is currently preparing another Starship prototype, called the SN8, for a 12-mile (20 km) test flight in the near future.
Email Hennick Waitering at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @speed.com and Facebook.