Even while the space race to become the first person to step foot on Mars is still ongoing, the estimated timelines for accomplishing this goal are being pushed back, as the entrepreneur Elon Musk hinted in a very clear statement.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this week that he believes a human landing on Mars would take place in 2029, although according to CNET, Musk had been planning a trip for 2026 as recently as December of last year. The fact that he will not reach his first objective of 2024, which he set for landing on the Red Planet back in 2016, is also very evident.
In the event that he is successful in getting humans to the Martian surface by 2029, it would mark a significant milestone, as indicated by the tweet depicted below, which portrays the first Moon landing in 1969, which took place precisely 60 years earlier. As a result of his response to this tweet, Musk made an additional forecast, which he simply stated as “2029.”
A high-altitude test flight of the Starship, which SpaceX is developing to transport humans to the moon for NASA and ultimately to Mars, has already been completed, and has made some impressive high-altitude flights, but the vehicle has not yet made it into space.
It should come as no surprise that traveling to Mars requires preparation. As the planets Mars and Earth revolve around the sun, the two planets go closer to one another and then farther away from one another. In order to take advantage of the periods when the journey between the two planets is the shortest, the launch must occur within certain windows.
For the next decade, the best Mars launch windows will be later this year, late 2024, late 2026, late 2028/early 2029, and late 2028/early 2029.
Although the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States has clearly hindered Musk’s launches in the past, it is very difficult to determine whether or not his revised launch estimate is true. One thing is for certain though, he is very determined to get us there.
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