Elon Musk, co-founder of US spacecraft maker SpaceX, told CNBC Reports that he was “absolutely convinced” that his company would at least land humans on Mars by 2026.
“If we are lucky, we can do it in four years,” Musk said, adding, “We want to send a manned spacecraft to Mars in the next two years.”
It should be noted that these ambitious timelines depend on the development of SpaceX, and more specifically on the success of the StarShip spacecraft. StarShip must provide interplanetary travel, in addition to being able to carry 100 passengers and carry up to 100 tons of cargo.
SpaceX has taken important steps in the development of the spacecraft. The company’s latest ship, the SN8, will make its first test flight this week at an altitude of 15 kilometers.
However, it is still unclear when StarShip will go into orbit with the first astronauts. At the Mars Society event in October, Musk said, “We have a good chance of using Mars’ second transfer window.” When the orbits of Mars and Earth collide with each other, i.e. in 2024, it is suggested that this will be the perfect time for flight.
During the first manned flight, pilots will not be insured. During the Humans to Mars summit in September, Musk also stressed that “traveling to Mars will be quite difficult and dangerous,” which could lead to the deaths of crew members.