SpaceX's Plans for the Red Planet

November 10, 2018

Since 2002, SpaceX has been working to revolutionize space transportation. In 2008 they were the first private company to launch a liquid fuel rocket into orbit, and more recently, in 2017, they launched and landed their massive Falcon 9 Heavy rocket, which is the most powerful rocket in the world. SpaceX’s main goal has been to create a clean, cheap, and reliable way for humans to colonize Mars.

Colonizing Mars is closer than ever before. Agencies like NASA and Mars One (another private company) have plans to make it to Mars in the next 20-30 years. But SpaceX is closer than both of them, as they already have rockets powerful enough to go to Mars. Cade from the XIIIs says: “I think it’s pretty revolutionary. I mean, no company has ever sent people on Mars, not even NASA.”

SpaceX so far has 3 vehicles; The Dragon, the Falcon 9, and the Falcon 9 heavy, and they are working on the BFR or Big Falcon Rocket. So far, all of the Falcon rockets will be able to make it to mars, each with a considerable payload. During testing, they also managed to land all of the falcon rockets that they have tested, making them completely reusable. If the Falcon rockets were to be used to go to Mars, SpaceX would be able to re-use the rockets multiple times, significantly reducing the cost and waste of space flight.

Currently SpaceX is planning to send humans to the Mars by 2024, with preceding missions by their BFR in 2022, making interplanetary colonization closer than ever before. Their plan is to send the BFR in 2022 to confirm water sources, identify hazards, and put in place initial power, mining and life support institutions. Then in 2024, a manned mission with even more cargo will come to build a fuel depot and preparing for future Mars missions. The BFRs will be able to come back to Earth by taking methane found on Mars and turning it into fuel, providing a self-sufficient way to get home.

But the BFR won’t be the only way to get to Mars. SpaceX’s other two rockets, the Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy will also be reliable modes of transportation. The Falcon 9 will be able to deliver 4,020 kilograms (8860 pounds) of cargo to Mars and the Falcon 9 Heavy will be able to deliver an even more massive 16,800 Kilograms (37,040 pounds) of cargo go the red planet. But these rockets, if used, wouldn’t usually hold humans. They would likely hold massive amounts of supplies or machinery for the people living on the planet.

As the dawn of space exploration comes even closer, SpaceX continues to be one of the leaders in Space technology. By the end of the 21st century, they will be one of the main colonies on the Red Planet, and hopefully they won’t be alone.

 

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