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Elon Musk hopes to reach Mars “before he dies”

Elon Musk hopes to reach Mars “before he dies”

Elon Musk has set himself an important goal: to bring humanity to Mars as long as this is possible. An undoubtedly noble goal, which he reiterated at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington DC this week. “If we do not continue to advance in science and technology, it is certain that I will die before I can go to Mars“, Musk declared with a touch of irony in front of the journalists and industry leaders present.

Musk says he is convinced that technological progress is proceeding too slowly if certain objectives are to be achieved.

SpaceXfounded by Musk in 2002, struck the first of many profitable deals for its burgeoning missile business in 2008, when it was named one of the companies that will be committed to transporting loads towards the International Space Station. To date, SpaceX has conducted 20 cargo replenishment missions to the Station and will be sending one very soon enhanced version of its Dragon missile to also transport astronauts to the orbital outpost. But that’s just the beginning for Musk and SpaceX.

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Musk has his eyes on the Moon and Mars and this he never made any secret of it. However, he is concerned that our current technology is not progressing rapidly as it should. But innovation takes time and after years of delays, SpaceX is about to launch its own first crew of astronauts. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will board the spaceship Crew Dragon and they will fly to the ISS as early as May.

For now, SpaceX is working on multiple projects, primarily on Starship

At the same time, Musk and SpaceX are working on a huge rocket that will transport people and goods to Mars, called the Starship. “Unless we improve drastically our rate of innovation, there is no possibility of building a base on the moon or on Mars, ”Musk said at the conference. “This is my biggest worry“. The spaceship could be launched as early as this year and so far, the ship is already planning a trip around the moon in 2023 and will host Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

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So for now, Musk says Starship is at the heart of SpaceX’s programs, shelving momentarily the ambitious Starlink project. Regarding the latter topic, SpaceX officials said the network could be launched later this year, with one limited capacity until more satellites are online. To date, the company has launched 300 Starlink satelliteswith another batch of 60 more launched on Saturday 14 March.