Spacex Reveals Planned Mission To Mars In 2018

Starship, which SpaceX is designing to take astronauts to the moon for NASA and eventually to Mars, has made some successful high-altitude flights, but has yet to make it to space. And last month, CNBC reported that a number of longtime SpaceX employees, including two vice presidents and a senior director, left the company following a purchase offer tied to employees’ stock vesting schedules. If we assume that the flight to Mars in 2029 fails, then in seven years SpaceX will obviously be closer to the first launch than it is now. The corporation has already developed a flight plan, according to which the company’s ships will continuously run between the Earth and the Red Planet on the Starship rocket.

SpaceX has achieved engineering breakthroughs, notably by successfully landing the Falcon 9 rocket upright, which could cut space travel costs by making rockets reusable. Musk said the rocket would take a spaceship into orbit, release it and land back on Earth to pick up a fuel tanker, which it would fly to the craft to fuel its journey to Mars. The trip would one day take as little as three months, or even less than one month. The first flight would be expensive but the aim is “making this affordable to almost anyone who wants to go,” by dropping the price of a ticket over time from $200,000 to $100,000, Musk said.

Read more about http://astronomyonline.org/Posts/FlightToMars.asp here. But the Falcon 1 had two successes on the heels of the failures, giving NASA confidence to award SpaceX a $1.6 billion contract in December 2008 to supply cargo and provisions to the International Space Station’s crew after the space shuttle’s retirement. He counts those numbers from the time of the first crewed flight, which might some as soon as the 2020s. The concept detailed Tuesday features a huge rocket standing 400 feet tall, and a fleet of passenger-carrying spaceships and refueling tankers. A version of the Starship has already been chosen to be the Human Landing System that will deliver astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in decades. SpaceX has contracted to do one uncrewed test in advance of the human landing, currently scheduled to take place in 2025. Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who already flew with a group on SpaceX’s Crewed Dragon, nowplans a series of flightsculminating in the first crewed Starship.

Early missions were flybys, with spacecraft furiously snapping photos as they zoomed past. Later, probes pulled into orbit around Mars; more recently, landers and rovers have touched down on the surface. Musk said he hopes to launch two unpiloted BFRs to Mars as early as 2022, followed two years later by four more flights, two unpiloted cargo missions and two carrying astronauts. For lunar missions, the BFR spacecraft could land on the moon, take off and fly back to Earth using the propellant loaded in Earth orbit before departure. For Mars flights, propellant would have to be manufactured on site by robotic refineries that would produce liquid oxygen and methane from ice and carbon dioxide in the martian atmosphere.

There are obviously a lot of hurdles between Musk’s announcement and hopping a rocket to Asia in real life. The BFR doesn’t exist in real life yet, and it would need extensive testing before SpaceX would be allowed to take on passengers. While rockets are seen as safe enough for cargo and a few brave astronauts, cramming a few hundred passengers on board for a jaunt across the globe might be a tough sell.

To this end, the Artemis program was developed, which belongs to NASA and its partners in Europe , Japan , Canada , Brazil , Australia and Mexico . However, problems in the development of the spacesuit and the moon landing system caused it to be postponed until 2026. In fact, it was the vehicle that the European Space Agency used to send its first rover to Mars if it weren’t for the breaking of ties with Russia.

This is the date that Elon Musk originally chose, although he quickly realized that he will have to wait for the next one, at the end of 2026. However, this was postponed over time, and the final update will be implemented in 2029. The reason, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and war conflicts, seems to be related to the fact that the launch of Starship that would be used for the trip; which is not yet ready.

Progress on the Starship launch site comes after Musk told employees on Nov. 26 that SpaceX faces “a genuine risk of bankruptcy” due to lack of progress in developing the Raptor engines that will power the Starship rocket. NASA confirmed that SpaceX is “within the rights of their lease agreement to make launch infrastructure improvements within the boundaries of the pad,” according to a CNBC report on Friday. The agency said that it is not providing funds for the Starship launchpad. “Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun,” Musk tweeted on Friday. “There will probably be a few bumps in the road, but we want to iron those out with satellite missions and test missions” before putting people on board, he said.