In a tweet on Tuesday, the world’s richest man, owner and CEO of private space company, SpaceX, said that SpaceX will be landing its Starship (a term for SpaceX’s rockets) on Mars well before 2030. In February, even after a prototype of the company’s Starship rocket exploded during a landing attempt after a high-altitude test launch, the space company had about $850 million in equity financing. The SN9 prototype was a test model of the heavy-lift rocket being developed by SpaceX to carry humans and 100 tons of cargo on future missions to the moon and Mars.
Elon Musk is also the owner of pioneer electric car company Tesla, and founder of other futuristic companies including Neuralink and Boring Co. Elon Musk, on Tuesday said that the ‘really hard threshold is making Mars Base Alpha self-sustaining’. In the tweet thread, he also mentioned that Europe must aim higher with its rocket technology or risk becoming obsolete as the company continues to outcompete European companies, and that European rocket efforts are ‘aiming too low’, stating that only ‘rockets that are fully and rapidly reusable’ are going to be competitive. The European space companies are lagging behind, despite efforts to meet up with SpaceX which has eaten away at Europe’s market share by cutting its costs with reusable rockets.
Space X’s reusable rocketry is a big part of bringing into reality Elon Musk’s dream of building a Martian city. Musk’s Martian vision have not always been welcomed. Recently Musk’s plan was described as a ‘dangerous delusion’ by Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees. Senator Bernie Sanders have also criticized Musk’s focus on settling on other planets, claiming that more focus should be on Earth and solving Earth’s problems, before looking to Mars. Nevertheless, Musk continues to push further and harder.
There’s the first orbital flight in view by the end of the year, and Elon Musk has made know his intention to fly billionaire owner of Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown, Yusaku Maezawa around the moon with the Starship in 2023.