During an interview with CNBC, Space X founder Elon Musk discussed how the future of the human race is closely related to the ability of humans getting off the planet, citing that he is hopeful humans will be on Mars by 2026. Musk believes that with Space X’s rocket technology, not only will the Red Planet be reached in the 2020’s, but a habitable colony will be installed there. This is a more ambitious goal than NASA’s future journeys to the planet. The United States space exploration agency says they plan to reach Mars by 2035, and only if important milestones are achieved beforehand.
Musk also discussed his plans to make Space X go public on the stock market to raise the necessary funds for the history making explorations. The founder of Space X and Tesla Motors has long been an advocate for establishing expeditions and colonies in space. Back in 2012, Musk suggested that he could send an “average” person on a roundtrip to Mars for $500,000. Observers believe that Musk and his company will reach these goals with their Falcon Heavy Launch vehicle (which is a more powerful iteration of their Falcon 9 model) and the recently announced “Dragon” spaceship. NASA’s mission to Mars will utilize the Orion spacecraft, and their new Space Launch System (which is still under development). According to astrophysicists, once the technology is fully developed: getting humans to Mars will be fairly simple. The considerable issues are the length of the journey (200 days), possible radiation exposure, and taking off and landing.
Despite Elon Musk confidently saying humans will be on Mars in 2026, Space X has not publicly released any plans on how they will be able to land and take off from the fourth planet from the sun. Musk’s space exploration company has yet to land on the moon. Observers believe that the 10-12 year time period is not enough for Space X to develop landing gear for a spaceship, citing that it is much more likely that they will only be able to have a spaceship conduct a flyby next to Mars in the 2020’s.
Musk suggested that whatever society ends up living on Mars will have to be self-sustaining, as opposed to Earth’s society. Elon Musk revealed other news besides his declaration that humans will be on Mars in 2026; the advocate for environmentally sustainable future technologies said that his Space X company might become public when they are a little more stable, ideally after they have created a Mars vehicle and have successfully flown it a few times. Musk believes that making Mars and other planets habitable, is essential in the survival of the species: saying that the human race will either live among the stars in ideal societies, or live on one planet and make the species extinct. Social analysts cite that Musk’s ambition might lead to the second space race between NASA and Space X. Which, they believe, is a great motivator for the two companies and could lead to a new wave of impressive space exploration technologies and missions.
By Andres Loubriel