Elon Musk is “highly confident” that SpaceX will take people to Mars by 2026
Would you go to Mars?
Fast-forward four years, and you would find Musk speaking of the same space endeavor once again and him re-affirming the same ambition – take people to Mars by 2026.
At the same time, he also seems cautious in his claims, saying that they can transport humans to Mars “if we get lucky.” In 2016, he was also somewhat cautious and said, “if things go super well.”
The key to Elon Musk’s vision of bringing people to Mars by 2026 is the development of the SpaceX Starship Rocket. Unlike SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rockets and Falcon 9 rockets, the new rocket will be made of stainless steel, reusable, and able to carry up to 100 people per trip.
The idea is to build a rocket that resembles and acts pretty much as a commercial plane in which the greatest cost will be its fuel.
Unfortunately, the development of the new rocket that is taking place in Boca Chica, Texas, is not as fast-paced as expected. It doesn’t meet Musk’s expectations and estimates. In September 2019, he presented the prototype rocket, and his estimate back then was that the Starship could have its first orbital flight by March 2020. Musk even said that he expected to see a human crew flying the Starship in 2020 as well.
However, it turned out his high-flying expectations were premature. The people at SpaceX now estimate that the first orbital flight tests will happen in 2021, and there is no word of when we can see a human crew within the Starship.
In June this year, the celebrated entrepreneur, CEO, and founder of SpaceX sent a company-wide email in which he stressed that progress needs to happen “dramatically and immediately.”
Musk’s plan to colonize Mars includes getting one million people there. Considering that the Starship can take up to 100 people per trip, it will need approximately 10,000 trips to bring one million people to Mars. The estimated time to get from earth to Mars via the Starship is 115 days.
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