On Wednesday morning, SpaceX tweeted that they will plan an unmanned mission to Mars as soon as 2018. If CEO Elon Musk follows through, he will likely beat NASA and maybe even China in the latest space race. Meanwhile, Russia the underdog has a plan of their own.
SPACEX TO BE THE FIRST TO MARS
Elon Musk has been hyping up his goal to go to Mars for quite some time and now, he finally has a date in mind. According to SpaceX Twitter page, the company is planning to send up an unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars in the year 2018. The mission will hope to test a way to land heavy loads on the red planet without the use of parachutes. SpaceX claims Red Dragon will be able to go from full throttle, supersonic speeds in space to touchdown. The details on just how they will do that are rather private at the moment, but Elon Musk believes it won’t stop there.
ELON MUSK TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
In another tweet, Elon Musk stated that the Dragon 2 will not only land on Mars but also anywhere in the solar system. The Mars mission will just be the first test but expect much more. For the time being, however, Elon Musk made a point to say these missions will be unmanned due to the size of the Dragon 2. SpaceX’s exciting announcement comes just a few weeks after a major milestone. The company landed their Falcon 9 rocket on a drop ship for the first time. Now that Elon Musk can reduce his costs of delivering cargo to space and reusing rockets, who knows what the limit will be on SpaceX’s potential. However, while the private space company basks in success, an unlikely competitor lurks in the darkness.
RUSSIA STILL HAS A SPACE FIGHT IN THEM
Amongst budget cuts and failed rocket launches, it seems that no one is taking Russia’s space program seriously these days. This has gotten President Vladimir Putin terribly annoyed and he seeks to do something about it. Just 24-hours after a glitch forced Russia to pull back on a rocket launch, Putin applied the pressure and the rocket successfully took off today. Putin agrees that Russia has a tough road ahead of them if they want to compete with anyone else in the latest astral race. Russia is still rebuilding from years of soviet neglect, but they are not going down without a fight. Remember Rocky IV?