In his latest prediction, SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that he expects humans to land on Mars in 2029.
When responding to Space Hub on the social media website for when humans may reach the Martian surface, he predicted 2029, coming years later than his previous Mars predictions. This will not come as a surprise to many. A Mars landing requires vast technological solutions, many that are not currently ready or available.
From the outset, it has been well publicised Musk’s ultimate goal is to make life multiplanetary. In a keynote speech in 2017 where Musk was providing an update on SpaceX’s Mars plans, he said: “I think fundamentally the future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we’re a spacefaring civilization and a multiplanet species than if we’re not.”
Recent years have proved these plans are certainly being taken seriously with the rapid development of SpaceX’s upcoming super heavy lift launch vehicle: Starship Super Heavy. This vehicle is a rapidly and fully reusable rocket engineered to take humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond and usher in a new age of space exploration. With several high-altitude flight tests complete, demonstrating the viability of Starship’s belly and landing flip maneuver, its development is moving at an unprecedented pace. An orbital flight test of Starship is expected as soon as later this year from Starbase, Texas or Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
Musk is no stranger to a prediction and often known to be overly optimistic. During the 2019 Starship update, he aimed for an orbital flight over the next sixth months. Two and a half years later and the flight is still months away.
Last December, in an interview with TIME, he suggested that he would be surprised if humans were not Mars in the next 5 years, claiming that a landing could occur in 2027. It appears that this target has been shifted 2 years but expect the date to move around a lot due to Musk’s volatility.
Featured Image: Concept of the first humans on Mars – NASA