How SpaceX’s Starship Will Help Establish a Mars Base
As NASA works toward its long-term goal of establishing a human settlement on Mars, SpaceX is fleshing out its plans to help NASA make that dream a reality.
The private spaceflight company, which regularly launches cargo to the International Space Station with the Falcon 9 rocket and will soon launch astronauts up there, is currently building an interplanetary spacecraft for Mars. Known as Starship, the rocket-spacecraft combo will be able to launch 100 passengers and large amounts of cargo to and from the Red Planet.
Before Starship can launch to Mars, it will start off launching commercial satellites as early as 2021, followed by a crewed flight around the moon in 2023. Although SpaceX has not given a timeline for its first missions to Mars, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said that the first Mars base could be up and running in 2028. And while Musk shared some eye-catching artist illustrations depicting what he called “Mars Base Alpha” as an intricate network of buildings and infrastructure, SpaceX’s plans for the Red Planet are not quite that extensive.
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