SpaceX founder Elon Musk is certain that his spaceships will land on Mars before 2030. There is a very specific reason why the Europeans are lagging behind.
Some people in public have a tendency to come up with unexpected and amazing news via Twitter. Tesla boss Elon Musk belongs to this species. The jack-of-all-trades has posted hot information about projects such as the cybertruck or the Starlink satellite project of his space company SpaceX, as if on the side, on social media.
So now: The big goal of SpaceX is to colonize the planet Mars. For years, both industry connoisseurs and non-experts have smiled at Elon Musk because of this idea and dismissed the space startup as a crazy thing, but at the latest since SpaceX has freed US space travel from its dependence on Russian Soyuz capsules and thus also from a slumber, Even Musk critics have to admit: SpaceX is an absolutely serious and future-oriented company.
SpaceX: Landing on Mars later this decade
Now Elon Musk announced on Twitter: SpaceX rockets should land on Mars well before 2030. Musk was responding to a Twitter discussion about European space travel, which is starting to have reasons to be left behind in the medium term by private space companies like SpaceX.
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The company was founded in 2002 by Tesla boss Elon Musk, who at the time had made hundreds of millions of dollars in profits with the Internet companies Zip2 and PayPal and invested in the establishment of the space company.
One of SpaceX’s goals: to develop technologies that will enable Mars to be colonized. In the meantime, SpaceX has become an important supplier of the International Space Station (ISS) with its Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spaceship.
There were also manned flights: SpaceX has brought astronauts to the ISS, and space tourists should also be able to book spaces from 2021.
With its Starlink project, SpaceX is now also the world’s largest private satellite operator.
In fact, the SpaceX system works differently than the established space ships Nasa and Esa. “SpaceX and Elon Musk aim to make Mars a permanent and self-sufficient colony for humanity. Everything else in the company is subordinate to this goal, ”explains Stefan Linke from the Institute for Space Systems at the Technical University of Braunschweig.
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SpaceX satellites and NASA missions as a source of income
The Starlink satellite launches and the missions for NASA served to develop the necessary technology for the actual goal and to generate income for the Mars project. “SpaceX’s technical and organizational approach is unusual in the space industry and is based on pragmatism and long-term goal orientation. Hardware is built and tested very early in a program, instead of spending years with simulations, ”says Linke.
They are aiming too low.
Only rockets that are fully & rapidly reusable will be competitive.
Everything else will seem like a cloth biplane in the age of jets.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2021
The further development of the technology takes place in real operation. For example, with the landing technology of the Falcon 9: its test program was continued with each new commercial mission, instead of dropping the burnt-out steps into the sea unused.
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“Similar approaches can be seen in the Starship program: Relatively simple and robust technology is used, the system can be used commercially, and hardware with increasing complexity is developed right from the start, which is tested until it fails,” says Linke.
Elon Musk: “Biplane in the age of jets”
Tesla boss Elon Musk himself put it this way on Twitter: The Europeans are aiming for targets that are too low, only rockets with reusable parts are competitive. “Anything else would be comparable to double-deckers covered with lines in the age of jets.” Before Musk’s rockets really land on Mars in this decade, SpaceX engineers still have to invest a lot of work. The last time there had been setbacks: The prototype SN10 for the rockets intended for the planned colonization on Mars exploded in early March after landing.
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