The first successful Mars landing was way back in 1971 when the Soviet Union's Mars 3 successfully touched down on the red planet. However, despite successful unmanned missions to the planet's surface, we've never sent humans to Mars. Elon Musk believes that his space company, SpaceX, will change that.
Elon Musk reveals SpaceX Mars target
Speaking on the Lex Fridman Podcast, Musk explained that SpaceX already has a time frame for landing humans on Mars. While the upcoming moon landing is a partnership between SpaceX and NASA, the upcoming Mars mission will be all up to the Musk-owned company.
Musk claimed that his company will have boots on the red surface in a maximum of ten years. However, he also claimed that this target is a worst-case scenario for the company with the actual target being just five years.
Additionally, the Tesla CEO reiterated his belief that humanity needs to escape Earth and populate other planets via colonisation.
“Worst case? Ten years,“ Musk told The Lex Fridman Podcast. “We need to be a multi-planet species.”
SpaceX Starship on Mars
SpaceX’s plans for travelling to Mars all rest with Starship, the company's reusable rocket ship. As the most complex rocket ever designed, SpaceX’s multi-trip space vehicle will be able to take humans to and from planets multiple times.
Due to its complexities, getting Starship into orbit has proven to be a difficult task. However, with a decade to go until SpaceX’s Mars landing, that should be enough time to get the rocket working. Well, we hope.
Of course, Musk's plans to colonise Mars are going to be even further away from that decade promise. While the initial landing could happen in the proposed time frame, it'll take many landings to start to colonise the red planet. See you in many decades.