It’s a small phrase that caused a stir in the world of space. SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell assured that SpaceX will bring people to Mars in the coming decade. Before we add that the Moon is a short-term goal of the space company founded 20 years ago by Elon Musk.
A central part of the SpaceX organizational chart, Gwynne Shotwell is the company’s second voice behind the tumultuous entrepreneur from Pretoria. According to this new statement, SpaceX’s ultra-ambitious schedule could be met with a first manned mission to the Red Planet in 2029.
As a reminder, SpaceX originally wanted to reach the planet Mars before 2024, but according to Elon Musk’s admission, he tends to shorten the deadlines and give dates that are very difficult to reach. SpaceX’s current schedule is instead targeting the Moon by 2024 with NASA and the Artemis program.
Spaceship: the ship at the heart of all questions
The starship was also to be used by the US space agency for the final parts of the mission. According to Shotwell, the success of the lunar mission could stimulate NASA’s energy to go to Mars, with an unmanned mission first and then with a crew at the end of the decade.
Currently, the Moon, like Mars, seems very far from SpaceX. The company’s ultra-promising Starship hasn’t flown in months, and Shotwell has announced that the next launch will take place in early summer. It will then be necessary to move very quickly for Elon Musk’s company.
The latter must prove to NASA that the starship is capable of flying to the Moon and setting sail before the start of the Artemis program, which should be eligible for its first flight by the end of 2022. As for Mars, that’s something. will be even more complicated.
SpaceX calendar: a true Texas puzzle
In fact, SpaceX will have to launch its Starship in 2024 or 2026 to reach Mars by the end of the decade. The trip to Mars is more than 60 million kilometers (under the best conditions) and it takes several months to reach our red “neighbor”.
Carrying out an unmanned mission to Mars seems to be the right solution for SpaceX, and it is difficult to imagine astronauts agreeing to go to Mars aboard a spacecraft that has never landed on Earth by the red planet. . But going through this unmanned mission takes time, and it seems very complicated for Elon Musk’s company to return all these missions in a few years and thus set foot on Mars by 2030.