SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions creating a spacefaring civilization. He believes that it is important to expand life to Mars to protect the “light of consciousness” that took over 4.5 billion years to evolve to this point. The aerospace company is developing Starship to enable astronauts to build the first human settlement on the Red Planet before the year 2050.
SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell is confident that humanity will set foot on Mars before 2029. “We should put people on the surface of Mars within a decade… I think it will be in this decade, yes. People on the moon sooner,” said Shotwell during a CNBC television interview this week. SpaceX is also developing a lunar-optimized Starship to land NASA astronauts on the Moon by 2025.
The TV reporter asked Shotwell if she believes more people will have the mindset of wanting to go live on Mars -”Oh absolutely,” she replied, “I think we need to get a large delivery to the surface of Mars and then people will start thinking harder about it. And then, I think within 5 or 6 years we will see that will be a real place to go,” said Shotwell. Watch the short TV video clip linked below.
Starship is under development at Boca Chica Beach in South Texas, along the border with Mexico. Engineers are currently preparing to conduct Starship's debut orbital flight test during which a Super Heavy rocket prototype will propel a Starship to orbit for the first time. However, this flight has been delayed because the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has been conducting an environmental assessment of the Starbase launch site for roughly 11 months.
On May 5th at an engineering conference, Shotwell said Starship could fly to orbit as soon as this Summer. After the assessment is complete, SpaceX will apply for a spaceflight license to lift off from Boca Chica Beach. Company officials appear confident that FAA will finalize its assessment by May 31st to launch the spacecraft sometime in June or July this year.
VIDEO: SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Featured Image Source: SpaceX