The unusually cautious Elon Musk said the Starship spacecraft might go to Mars in 2024

The unusually cautious Elon Musk said the Starship spacecraft might go to Mars in 2024

As you know, Elon Musk’s “main goal” is to build a colony on Mars. So far, this is clearly a long way off, but SpaceX is already actively working on the Starship spacecraft, which, among other things, is focused on flights to the Red Planet.

At the 23rd Congress of the Martian Society, answering a question about the near future of Starship, Musk also touched on the Martian missions.

I am 80-90% sure that we will enter orbit using Starship next year. I’m probably 50% sure we can get the ship and the booster back. This is a risky situation, we will probably lose a few ships before we can get back and land properly. We may lose, but hopefully we will not lose a single accelerator, because that means the loss of many engines. The first flights will be made on boosters with two to four engines.

I think we will probably be able to fly more difficulty, probably in 2022. So in a couple of years. I am trying to make sure that the speed of our innovations does not decrease, but increases. This is really important. In fact, unless we see something close to an exponential increase in the rate of our innovation, we will not reach Mars. There is no pure linearity here. If we can exponentially get to Mars, we can probably send an unmanned mission there, maybe in four years. The opposition of Mars (when the planet is closest to Earth) occurs every 26 months, the next will take place in two years. There will be another one in four years. I think we have a good chance to open this second transfer window to Mars.

Thus, Musk said that perhaps SpaceX’s first unmanned mission to Mars will take place as early as 2024. It is worth noting that this time Musk was very careful in his statements, often emphasizing that these were his thoughts and that he had many doubts. For comparison, a few years ago, Musk promised that the first such flight would take place in 2018.

The unusually cautious Elon Musk said the Starship spacecraft might go to Mars in 2024

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