Elon Musk plans to launch spacecraft for Mars in 2019
by Ray Downs
Washington (UPI) Mar 11, 2018
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Sunday that he is on track to launch a spacecraft for Mars by next year.
"We are building the first ship, or interplanetary ship, right now," Musk said during a question and answer session at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. "And we'll probably be able to do short flights, short up and down flights, probably some time in the first half of next year."
Musk said that his ship -- the Big Falcon Rocket -- will be capable of greatly reducing the average cost of a spaceflight as far as Mars in large part because it will be reusable.
"This question of reusability is so fundamental to rocketry," Musk said. "It is the fundamental breakthrough that's needed."
After a series of short flights, Musk said he hopes to have a cargo mission land on Mars by 2022.
Musk said the goal is to begin a human colony on Mars and the first spaceflights there will begin to plant those seeds.
"Once you can get there, the opportunity is immense," Musk said. "We're going to do our best to get there and then make sure there's an environment in which entrepreneurs can flourish."
In September, Musk said the Big Falcon Rocket could also one day be used for travel to different points on earth, with the possibility of flights from New York City to Shanghai taking less then 40 minutes.
Space bases could preserve civilization in World War III: Elon Musk
Musk, the founder of rocket and spacecraft company SpaceX, said the company's interplanetary ship could begin test flights as soon as next year.
There is "some probability" that there will be another Dark Ages, "particularly if there is a third world war," Musk said at the SXSW conference.
"We want to make sure that there's enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back, and perhaps shorten the length of the Dark Ages," he said.
"I think a moon base and a Mars base that could perhaps help regenerate life back here on earth would be really important."
Musk said he thinks that SpaceX's interplanetary ship will "be able to do short flights, short sort of up and down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year."
SpaceX launched the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, last month, sending Musk's red Tesla Roadster car toward an orbit near Mars.
SpaceX carries out 50th launch of Falcon 9 rocket
Miami (AFP) March 6, 2018
SpaceX carried out the 50th launch of its signature Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday, a swift ascent to a milestone which many aerospace giants take far longer to attain. The launch of the Falcon 9 carrying a Hispasat Spanish-language telecommunications and broadband satellite took place on schedule at 12:33 am (0533 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. About 33 minutes into the flight, the satellite was deployed into geo-stationary orbit, SpaceX said in a webcast. The satelli ... read more
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