Previously, it was said to be going on 2022
SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk made an announcement on Friday that they have a “fighting chance” to send their Starship rocket to Mars in 2024. They had hoped to send it by 2022.
Musk spoke about sending an unmanned Starship rocket to Mars during Mars Society’s 2020 virtual conference. The Starship rocket is currently in its prototype stage and still has a long road of testing to undergo before embarking on the solo mission to Mars. Musk later added that even the 2024 date was just a guess.
The SN5 Starship features
Musk first spoke about his plan to send cargo ships to Mars in 2017. If the solo mission was successful, they were planning on a crewed mission after two years.
Till now, SpaceX has finished two successful “hop” tests of their rocket at their facility in Texas. The hop tests consisted of launching it several hundred feet up into the air before it returns to Earth.
Musk’s rocket is designed to transport up to 100 passengers and heavy cargo. He said in the Mars Society meeting that he was “80%-90% confident” that the Starship rocket will reach orbit by next year. Then he said he was “50%-60% confident” that SpaceX will be able to bring the rocket and it’s booster from the orbit, saying they will probably lose a few of them before they get the atmospheric return and landing in check.
Musk clarified to Mars Society President Robert Zubrin that all these are just guesses. He said that he does not have any secret dates that he’s keeping to himself without sharing. It seems Musk is being careful after a few of his promised timelines didn’t go as planned.