SpaceX and Tesla chief Elon Musk will be announcing his boldest plan ever today – colonizing Mars.
Musk will be presenting his plan at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, for what he’s been dreaming about, and commenting on, for years. SpaceX has a plan for the first-ever human mission to Mars. This announcement comes nearly a month after SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., as it was being fueled.
It will be incredibly expensive to fund the rockets and the space colonies to make Musk’s vision a reality. The Verge predicts that Musk will either be announcing financial backing today, or inviting a partner such as NASA to join in. The Falcon 9 explosion, which was the second incident following the first explosion in 2015, will be a tough sale to make.
Musk is known as making outrageous claims and bold announcements with the Hyperloop, SolarCity acquisition, Gigafactory, Tesla Energy subsidiary, and production schedule for the Tesla Model 3, coming to mind. Many times his goals have involved over promising on meeting deadlines, which was the case the Tesla Model X being delivered to early adopters.
SpaceX’s biggest customer so far has been NASA, which years ago shut down its space shuttle flights. SpaceX is working hard at preparing to shuttle astronauts to NASA’s International Space Station in late 2017 or early 2018. There is a huge gap in this plan, and especially the larger goal of bringing travelers to Mars – SpaceX has never carried a single human into space and there’s always the risk of another spacecraft explosion.
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In June, Musk spoke at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where he reiterated plans to send a rocket to Mars as soon as 2018. SpaceX will also make sure that a manned rocket will launch as soon as 2024 and will land on Mars by 2025. Those deadlines may be moved up sooner in today’s announcement; as mentioned, Musk is well known for setting ambitious targets that may be impossible to achieve.
For the Falcon 9 rocket explosion that took place on Sept. 1 in Cape Canaveral, a fireball was caused by a “breached helium system,” the company said. In June 2015, another Falcon 9 exploded while it was transporting cargo to NASA’s space station. That was said to be caused by failure of a strut holding down the helium tanks.
As seen in his recent responses to fatalities related to the Tesla Autopilot system, Musk is known for making commitments to fixing problems like safety hazards and explosions. He’s also known for taking wild risks that can wreak havoc for employees, lose money, and go way over the deadlines.
SpaceX is inviting the public to view the video-streamed announcement, which will start today at 1:30 CT.