SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company led by Tesla’s Elon Musk, is planning to send its first unmanned spacecraft mission to Mars as soon as 2018.
The California-based company made this announcement on Twitter Wednesday, mentioning that their mission to the Red Planet will be completed in a partnership with the space agency NASA.
The ultimate goal of this public and private partnership is to get humans to Mars, which, according to some people, will be our home in the future.
It is interesting to see if SpaceX will be able to do a job of landing its robot on Mars because it’s not that easy. This is a difficult mission due to a number of reasons, and the U.S. is the only country to land a spacecraft on the Martian surface.
SpaceX, in a partnership with NASA, wants to start sending humans to Mars in the 2030s. Under the partnership, NASA will provide technical support for SpaceX’s mission, while SpaceX will provide valuable entry, descent and landing data to NASA for its journey to Mars, thus providing support to American industry, according to a statement.
SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002, designs and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, with goals of revolutionizing space technology. The company’s ultimate goal is to enable “people to live on other planets.”
Under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, SpaceX is flying numerous cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station. The company will also be responsible for carrying crew.
Mars is located 140 million miles away from Earth, and it may take months to reach the Red Planet even in the best circumstances. Off 43 robotic missions sent by four different countries to the planet, only 18 were successful.
The Soviet Union was the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on Mars in 1971.