SpaceX has scheduled a bit of a trek in the near future.
According to a tweet published by the company, it is “planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018.”
The idea has been up in the air for years, and SpaceX will now be the first company to embark on the journey since the Mars rover landed on the Red Planet.
The spacecraft will not carry any passengers and will most likely be a one-way trip. The time it would take to reach Mars has been estimated at approximately a year – give or take a couple months. It probably isn’t easy to predict an ETA on a 55,000,000-km trip.
According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the Dragon 2 is capable of landing anywhere in the solar system – a bold statement. He also explained (tweets) that transporting astronauts in the spacecraft wouldn’t be ideal as its internal size is similar to an SUV.
SpaceX has its work cut out in the following two years before the scheduled departure. A series of test flights will take place and the technology mastered before a mission of this calibre is conducted.
According to Ars Technica, Musk says he wants to send humans to Mars by 2020.