SpaceX COO Gynn Shotwell just revealed the aerospace company’s future launch schedule. According to the person in charge of SpaceX operations, the first manned flights to Mars via the Starship spacecraft will begin by 2030. A preliminary step is however planned: the return to the Moon in 2024.
In parallel with its activity as a satellite launcher for Starlink or on behalf of the American army and NASA, SpaceX is currently working on the development of Starship, a new generation rocket. This gigantic vessel (120 meters high) will be responsible for taking the first men to Mars. Moreover, Elon Musk has announced that he wants to launch Starship for the first time in May 2022 if all goes well.
Not long ago, Elon Musk revealed his predictions for future Starship flights. The billionaire and current owner of Twitter hopes to see a crew set foot on the red planet by 2029 at the earliest. This timeline was confirmed by Gynne ShotwellPresident and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SpaceX during an interview given to the American channel CNBC.
SpaceX confirms first flights to Mars by 2030
The manager certifies that the first manned flights to Mars will take place during this decadespecifically by 2030.”I think we have to pull off an important mission on the surface of Mars and then the public will start to think about it more seriously. I think that in five to six years, we will realize that this is a destination”, she says confidently.
Nevertheless, she reminds us that there is still an intermediate stage before heading towards the fourth planet in the solar system. In effect, SpaceX and NASA must first complete the Artemis mission, which will mark the return of Man to the Moon. On this subject, SpaceX says it is confident to send the first astronauts to the Moon before 2024. The aerospace company is optimistic because of the progress made on the development of its lunar lander.
On the other hand, this optimism is not really shared by NASA. The US space agency is facing serious difficulties in developing the new xEMU spacesuits (Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Units). They are supposed to replace the current suits used for spacewalks. It must be said that they are beginning to show their age, at almost 50 years old. Note that NASA already has plans for the future once installed on the Moon, with the construction of a nuclear power plant and the establishment of a Wi-Fi network.