News, comments, and general punditry from the Space Coast of Florida.
In a two-minute video clip posted yesterday on the CBS This Morning web site, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he hopes to fly humans in two years, then do a demonstration flight to the Moon in preparation for his Mars Colonial Transport program.
We've gotta restore American ability to transport astronauts with a domestic vehicle, and that's what we hope to do in about two years. And then, obviously the next step beyond that is to maybe send people beyond low Earth orbit to a loop around the Moon. Possibly land on the Moon, although I'm not super-interested in the Moon personally, I mean because obviously we've done that. Maybe just to prove the capability. And then we need to develop a much larger vehicle, which would be sort of what I call a kind of a Mars Colonial Transport system. This would really be, we're talking about rockets on a scale that would be a bigger scale than has ever been done before. It would make the Apollo moon rocket look small. And they would have to launch very frequently as well. That's what's needed in order to ultimately send millions of people and millions of tons of cargo to Mars, which is a minimum level to have a self-sustaining civilization on Mars. And I think we might be able to complete that in about ten or twelve years, so hopefully the first people we would send to Mars would be around the middle of the next decade.
Reading between the lines ...
The first SpaceX commercial crew demonstration flight is projected for 2016, which is consistent with past statements.
The Moon comments could refer to a potential arrangement with the Golden Spike Company. A Golden Spike lunar expedition concept suggests the use of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy as the launch vehicle.