Musk Says SpaceX To Conduct Test Flights Of Mars Ship Next Year

Elon Musk

Mr Musk, the founder of rocket and spacecraft company SpaceX, said the company's interplanetary ship could begin test flights as soon as next year. "I can tell you what I know currently is the case is that we are building the first ship, the first Mars interplanetary ship right now", Musk told a crowd during a surprise appearance at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, on Sunday.

"And we'll probably be able to do short flights, short up and down flights, during the first half of next year", CNN further quoted Musk.

Musk acknowledged that "people have told me that my timelines historically have been optimistic, so I'm trying to recalibrate to some degree here".

About living on Mars, Musk has said that it would be very hard to begin with, and would require courageous people and some very modern machinery to set up glass domes and colonies on Mars.

SpaceX has a stated goal of reaching Mars and the company has gradually been developing technology that will help it achieve that goal.

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The rocket has the code name BFR and is larger than the Falcon Heavy rocket that was successfully launched in February. A couple of yers ago Musk predicted that in 2022 a flight to Mars should take place for the first time. The rocket will be equipped with a self-fueling mechanism and would be completely reusable which would reduce the cost of traveling in space and would allow resupplying at the International Space Station (ISS) on the moon by making multiple trips.

Referencing his inspiration for pursuing space exploration, Musk cited Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky who said, "Earth is the cradle of civilization...but we can't stay in the cradle forever". "It is the fundamental breakthrough that's needed".

Musk has estimated a BFR flight will cost between $5 to $6 million range and he hopes if BFR launches, others will believe Mars travel is possible and companies will follow suit.

"A BFR flight will actually cost less than our Falcon I flight did, back in the day". "That's profound, and that is what will enable the creation of a permanent base on the Moon and a city on Mars".

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