Elon Musk Believes He’ll Send a Rocket to Mars by 2018
SpaceX has made a bold claim regarding the company’s future, stating that they are planning to land their Red Dragon spacecraft on Mars by 2018.
SpaceX made the announcement on Twitter, revealing the short time frame in which they plan to make their ground-breaking landing. The company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk confirmed these plans, even suggesting that the company doesn’t have its sights set solely on Mars, tweeting: “Dragon 2 is designed to be able to land anywhere in the solar system. Red Dragon Mars mission is the first test flight.”
He added: “But wouldn’t recommend transporting astronauts beyond Earth-moon region. Wouldn’t be fun for longer journeys. Internal volume ~size of SUV.”
Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come pic.twitter.com/u4nbVUNCpA
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 27, 2016
The Red Dragon is a variant of SpaceX’s Dragon 2 spacecraft, it has been confirmed, which is set to be launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket for its journey to Mars. SpaceX has entered into an agreement with NASA in order to conduct the launch, with NASA set to offer Musk’s company a wealth of data pertaining to the red planet in order to help them on their mission.
Elon Musk is scheduled to outline his plans for SpaceX’s Mars landing this summer at the International Astronautical Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has previously stated that with the help of the Falcon Heavy, the Dragon 2 can go “pretty much anywhere” within our solar system, though landing the spacecraft will obviously prove to be a more difficult task.
The purpose of the flight will be to demonstrate how payloads can be transported to Mars in the future, which will eventually help with Musk’s plans to build a Martian city. These will also be discussed at the conference later this year.