In Elon Musk’s plan to send astronauts to MARS this decade – will he beat Nasa?

ELON Musk hopes to send people to Mars within the next decade on a brand new rocket built by his company, SpaceX.

He’s up against stiff competition from Nasa and China, both of which are aiming to launch their own astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s.

SpaceX wants to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars


SpaceX wants to send astronauts to the Moon and MarsCredit: AP


SpaceX is currently developing a stainless steel launch system called Starship that the California company will use for trips to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

It is made up of two stages: A Super Heavy booster with a bullet-shaped spacecraft, also known as the Starship.

Starship is in the early stages of development, and test launches so far have taken the form of flying at an altitude of several miles.

SpaceX plans to reach orbit with the rocket in an unmanned flight within the next few months.

The finished vehicle will be 394ft (120 metres) tall and boast a set of sparkling new SpaceX Raptor engines, which have been in development over the past decade.

Initially, the Super Heavy will have 29 Raptors, and future versions will have 32 engines, Musk said.

The 165-foot (50-meter) upper deck will sport six additional Raptors.

The launch system will be capable of carrying up to 100,000 kg (220,000 lbs) to low Earth orbit.

That’s more than 95,000 kilograms provided by Nasa’s upcoming Space Launch System that the agency hopes to use for trips to Mars.

SpaceX is building and testing the Super Heavy and Starship at its Starbase facility in south Texas.

Ultimately, according to Musk, the spacecraft can carry up to 100 people per flight.


Musk and SpaceX have repeatedly booked and missed deadlines for the system’s first trip to Mars.

Currently, they are targeting a first unmanned launch into orbit in early March, according to the billionaire.

He predicted the flight would fail but said he was confident that Starship would reach orbit by the end of the year.

The spacecraft’s first trip to the Red Planet is scheduled for 2024, where it will enter Mars orbit.

That would take the form of an unmanned cargo flight and scientific experiments.

A Starship prototype sits atop a Super Heavy rocket ahead of its first orbital flight later this year


A Starship prototype sits atop a Super Heavy rocket ahead of its first orbital flight later this year


The schedule for a manned Starship flight to Mars is, understandably, rather hazy.

What we do know is that SpaceX has some major milestones to achieve before it can even think about sending astronauts to the Red Planet.

Musk speak in December that he wants Starship to orbit the Moon “possibly as early as 2023” and land on its surface “within three years”.

He also claimed that SpaceX could land on Mars in 2026.

“I would be surprised if we don’t land on Mars in five years,” he said.

Assuming all of that goes to plan, the earliest the company will land astronauts on the Moon is around 2028.

It will most likely be a lot later because of the inevitable problems and delays pushing back the timeline.


Musk, who has children with Canadian pop artist Grimes, wants to put a million people on the Red Planet by 2050.

In a series of tweets in 2020, the mogul outlined how his Starlink plans would open up space travel to anyone, regardless of their income.

“It needs to be so that anyone can go if they want to, with loans available to those without money,” he wrote.

Musk’s plan includes building a fleet of Starship ships with a capacity of 1,000 people, including a giant rocket mounted on top of a bullet-shaped spaceship.

SpaceX is run by billionaire Elon Musk


SpaceX is run by billionaire Elon MuskCredit: AFP

He recently hired an additional 250 SpaceX employees for two days to help the company achieve this lofty goal.

According to Musk, SpaceX aims to build 1,000 Starships at a facility in South Texas in 10 years’ time.

That’s 100 rockets a year – a pretty hefty feat considering the company has yet to build a single working Starship.

Ultimately, the Tesla boss added, the goal will be to make 1,000 Starship flights to Mars each year — three a day on average.

Each trip will see 100 passengers travel to the Red Planet to become citizens of a Martian megalopolis.

Musk was a bit vague about what, exactly, the colonists would do when they got there. “There will be a lot of work on Mars!” he tweeted.

Based on Musk’s predictions, it would take a fleet of 1,000 Starships about nine years to carry one million people to Mars.

That’s assuming the company actually manages to send up to 300 people per day, of course.

When you add the ten years it takes to build the fleet, planning needs to start within the next decade to have any chance of hitting Musk’s 2050 goal.

He did not specify what each rocket would need to carry, but a container full of food, water, fuel and life support systems was among those that were offered.


Nasa has said that it hopes to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.

To do that, it first needed to get its new SLS rocket up and running. The spacecraft’s first flight is scheduled for March or April.

It will be topped by Nasa’s new Orion capsule, which will provide the basis for missions to the Moon as well as the Red Planet.

China also has an eye on our arid neighbor after successfully landing a probe there last year.

China’s National Space Administration plans the first manned mission to Mars in 2033.

SpaceX is building and testing Super Heavy and Starship at its Starbase facility in south Texas


SpaceX is building and testing Super Heavy and Starship at its Starbase facility in south TexasCredit: AFP

In other news, a four-ton block of a SpaceX rocket is on a collision course with the Moon, according to online space junk trackers.

Boeing has sink 450 million dollars became a flying taxi startup that hopes to attract passengers across cities by the end of the decade.

Personalized smart guncan only be activated by verified users, may eventually be made available to US consumers this year.

And, scientists are embarking on a mission to unravel the mystery behind dozens of creepy baby mummy was buried in an underground tomb in Sicily.

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TaraSubramaniam is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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