Colonizing Mars will be one of the most important projects in human history. Enabling life on another planet will ensure our species does not go extinct if an event were to threaten all life on Earth. It is important for the human species to learn to adapt on other planets to preserve the beauty of what it means to be conscious. –“Starship is the key to making life multi-planetary and protecting the light of consciousness,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk says. His aerospace company works around-the-clock to develop the technology and spacecraft that could change the course of humanity’s future. “[…] I think it is important to have a self-sustaining city on Mars as soon as possible. I mean, I am optimistic about the future on Earth but its important to have insurance for life as a whole,” he said during the Axel Springer Award ceremony in December last year.
Musk’s ultimate goal is to develop a Starship spacecraft that will enable hundreds of adventurous astronauts to build the first settlement on the Red Planet. “…Building ~1000 Starships to create a self-sustaining city on Mars is our mission,” he says. Musk estimates that manufacturing a fleet of 1,000 Starships over the course of 20 years would help make colonizing Mars possible before the year 2050. –“Building 100 Starships per year gets to 1,000 in 10 years or 100 megatons per year or maybe around 100,000 people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” Musk said in January last year. The orbits of Earth and Mars align (sync) closer to one another approximately every 2 years, enabling a shorter voyage to Mars. Starship would take approximately six months to arrive.
SpaceX could land the first Starship on Mars as soon as 2024. Musk said earlier this month that "2024 is not out of the question for an uncrewed flight" to Mars. The first crewed mission could take place in 2026 depending on the company’s progress. SpaceX is rapidly developing the Starship launch system at its Starbase facility in South Texas where the company is preparing to launch the first stainless-steel launch vehicle prototype to orbit this Summer. Over the past year, engineers test launched five Starship vehicles during high-altitude flights powered by a trio of methane-fueled Raptor engines. The flight tests demonstrated how the spacecraft is capable of using its fins for aerodynamic flight and control upon landing. The same landing maneuver performed during test flights, shown in the video below, will be required on Mars upon descent. Musk is ‘highly-confident’ that Starship will be ready to conduct flights to space in less than three years. “I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023. And that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023. It’s looking very promising,” he said. However, humans will not be transported to Mars until several uncrewed Starships successfully land on the Red Planet’s surface. SpaceX’s first crewed mission aboard Starship will be a voyage around the Moon booked by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, scheduled for 2023.
SpaceX’s fifth high-altitude flight test of Starship from Starbase in Texas pic.twitter.com/FnrXuHpsVj— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 13, 2021
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.