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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX Mars city: Elon Musk confirms he's sticking to ambitious launch date


On Friday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter that he's still aiming to launch the first ships to Mars by 2022. These ships will hold cargo designed to support a future manned mission. That mission will come in 2024, the next time when the Earth and Mars are close again.

Musk first outlined this target in a September 2017 presentation, where he described the BFR vehicle that would support this mission. At the time, Musk said the 2022 figure was "not a typo … although it is aspirational." A lot has changed since then – BFR became Starship, a mini-Starship flew, several prototypes exploded – but it seems Musk's determination to reach the red planet in super-fast time has not wavered.

An artist's impression of the Mars city.SpaceX

Why the rush? Musk explained via Twitter Thursday that he sees it as a race against time. Twitter user "PPathole" wrote that within another half a billion years the oceans will evaporate as the sun expands, meaning humanity has a short window to expand out and resettle. Musk responded to this:

"That's when all life on Earth will be boiled off. What matters is how long civilization is capable of making the jump to Mars. This could be a very short period of time measured in decades. It took 4.5 billion years to get to this point & civilization isn't looking super stable."