Elon Musk says humans will be on Mars by 2029

Mars has thousands of craters from meteor impacts over the millenia. We could be there by the end of the decade, according to Elon Musk (Photo: Getty)

It’s no secret that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is trying to get humans to Mars — now we might have a date on that.

The SpaceX CEO tweeted his prediction on Wednesday, replying to a tweet asking when the first crewed landing on the Red Planet might take place.

‘2029,’ Musk answered.

While the less-than-a-decade timeline seems exaggerated, Musk had previously hoped to make the first crewed missions to Mars in either 2024 or 2026 but four Starship prototype rocket test flights ending in explosions set SpaceX back by a few years.

The first orbital launch of Starship (the craft specificially built to take us there) is expected sometime this month, but there’s still no set date.

This week, SpaceX celebrated its 20th anniversary by celebrating its accomplishments in a short time.

Musk’s dream for humans to become a ‘spacefaring civilization’ is laid out on the SpaceX website.

In February, Musk said he was ‘highly confident’ this was the year his new Starship — the vehicle that will take humans to Mars — would make it to orbit despite a host of technical and regulatory hurdles that are yet to be resolved.

The announcement came nine months after SpaceX achieved the first successful launch and touchdown of a Starship prototype rocket in a test-flight after four previous landing attempts ended in explosions. 

SpaceX has plenty of glossy videos of what a Starship launch would look like (Provider: SpaceX)

But why Mars?

At an average distance of 140 million miles, Mars is one of Earth’s closest habitable neighbors.

Mars is about half again as far from the Sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight.

Musk believes humans will make it to mars by 2029. (Credits: TNS)

‘It is a little cold, but we can warm it up. Its atmosphere is primarily CO2 with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, which means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere,’ says the SpaceX website.

Gravity on Mars is about 38% of that of Earth, so you would be able to lift heavy things and bound around. Furthermore, a day on Mars is remarkably close to that of Earth.

Elon Musk ‘highly confident’ Starship will reach orbit this year

MORE : SpaceX lands prototype Starship spacecraft – without it blowing up

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