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Elon Musk: Manned Mission to Mars is Just a Few Years Away

Elon musk mars manned mission
Elon Musk believes that a manned mission to Mars could happen in just a few years. Credit: NASA/JPL/CalTech

Elon Musk stated that a manned mission to Mars could happen as early as 2029 on Wednesday when asked on Twitter.

A twitter user posted a picture comparing an image from the Moon landing, along with 1969, the year the historic event took place, and an image depicting a potential Mars landing with the text “20_ _?” The user wrote “What’s your guess?” and tagged Musk in the tweet.

Responding to the question, Musk replied simply “2029.”

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk has long advocated for the colonization of Mars as a solution to many of the Earth’s problems, particularly climate change, and has made landing on the planet one of his biggest goals.

Elon Musk: Mars colonization possible by 2050

While speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2016, Musk asserted that traveling to and even building a city in Mars is “something we can do in our lifetimes.”

Musk has even claimed that a Mars colony will be established as early as five years from now, with ten years being a “worst-case scenario.”

The billionaire has gone on to state that he believes that establishing a city of roughly a million inhabitants on the planet is possible by 2050.

While many scientists disagree with Musk’s timeline, they still believe that colonization of the planet could be on the horizon.

Professor Serkan Saydam, who works at the School of Mineral Energy Resources Engineering at UNSW Sydney, says that a colony on the Red Planet is in fact possible within the next three decades–as long as autonomous forms of mining are commercially viable.

For its part, NASA is interested in investigating the possibility of establishing a colony on Mars.

A statement from NASA released in August of 2021 clearly indicates that they are interested in cultivating readiness for the possibility that humans will be on Mars in the near future:

“As NASA ventures farther into the cosmos, the astronaut experience will change. In preparation for the real-life challenges of future missions to Mars, NASA will study how highly motivated individuals respond under the rigor of a long-duration, ground-based simulation.”

The simulated mission will have four crew members live in a small 3D printed module that simulates the real-world environment of a Mar’s living space, challenging the crew members to deal with “resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays, and other environmental stressors.”

Interest in surveying and studying Mars with the goal of someday landing on the Red Plant has been widespread in recent years.

Europe and Russia had planned to send rovers to the planet later this year, but the war in Ukraine led to the cancellation of the mission, called ExoMars. The ExoMars mission was aimed at discovering any signs of life on Mars.

NASA is also working on a “Mars Ascent Vehicle” which will be used to launch samples from the surface of the planet back to Earth.

The Mars Ascent Vehicle, known as the MAV, is a small rocket that will launch sediment, rock, and atmospheric samples, becoming the first rocket launched from another planet back to Earth.

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