Elon Musk Is Aiming For SpaceX Rockets To Land On Mars Before 2030
Could interplanetary travel become a reality within this decade? According to Elon Musk, it is definitely a possibility. In a new statement, the billionaire entrepreneur said his company SpaceX is set to land its “Starships” spacecraft and establish a base on Mars well before 2030.
His update comes after a recent Ars Technica report indicated that Europe will only be starting to look into rocket technology at that time. Musk criticized their plan in a tweet thread, telling European competitors they are “aiming too low” and that they will become obsolete if they do not amp up their R&D efforts.
SpaceX will be landing Starships on Mars well before 2030. The really hard threshold is making Mars Base Alpha self-sustaining.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2021
While European space efforts are targeting the commercial market once they are fully operational, they continue to lag significantly behind SpaceX in terms of rocket development and innovation. In just a few years, SpaceX has managed to outperform its European competitors, striking a significant blow to their market share by using cost-cutting reusable rockets.
Conducting mass exoduses of people from Earth to Mars would be unrealistic with single-use spacecraft, as they are incredibly expensive to produce and take a lot of time to manufacture. Musk’s reusable rocketry expedites the entire process and could very well allow SpaceX to establish a Martian base before the decade end.
Musk is a firm supporter of space travel and has always dreamt of sending humans to other planets. He first announced his plans to develop a colony on Mars in 2016, saying that he hopes to complete the herculean project “in our lifetimes.” He did warn the public, however, that early colonists should be “prepared to die,” as he believes the real challenge is not sending people to Mars; but rather, sustaining life on it.
Naturally, not everyone is impressed with Musk’s ambitions. Many public figures have openly denounced his alleged visions of grandeur, including British astrophysicist Martin Rees and Senator Bernie Sanders; the latter of whom said we need to “focus on Earth” before looking anywhere else. Still, Musk continues to pursue his Martian dreams with relentless fervor. Besides, with a net worth of approximately US$157.4 billion, he definitely has the means to see them through.
On a related note, the richest man in the world, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, also has a space project of his own called Blue Origin. However, his company will likely not be a competitor to SpaceX anytime soon as Bezos said he would only become more involved with it after he steps down from Amazon.