Despite the enthusiasm on Mars colonization missions including the accelerated pace of launch infrastructure, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said SpaceX Mars mission is indeed dangerous and it will take decades to make missions sustainable.
Musk, who had been consistent on the updates about the Starship spacecraft and rocket systems expressed these thoughts in a couple of tweets, per Space X news.
In a way, it can be a prelude for SpaceX taking more time for its Mars projects.
SpaceX has been developing a 100-passenger spaceship called Starship and a giant rocket, Super Heavy, constituting a transportation system as a cost-effective system for interplanetary travel and Mars settlement.
Challenges to the sustainable city on Mars
Musk, who is also the chief of electric car company Tesla is on a mission to induce innovations into transport systems including space-going rockets.
In 2016, Musk called his vision as architecture for an Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). In Musk’s agenda, Mars colonization has a high priority and involves building a permanent, sustainable city on Mars.
This is despite the ongoing automated exploration of the Red Planet by way of NASA Mars rovers and others that study the possible presence of life and water on Mars.
While attending a recent event of the U.S Airforce Musk said the final goal of SpaceX is to set up a “self-sustaining city on Mars.”
But the journey to that reality is arduous and time-consuming. It may require SpaceX to build and fly around 1,000 Starships to transport cargo, infrastructure, and crew to Mars for over 20 years, per Musk.
Some reports also said SpaceX has somewhat soft-pedaled its priority for Mars landing with its newfound interest for Moon. They also said competitor Virgin Orbit is hogging the limelight by aiming to hit Mars first with its rover.
NASA has set the 2030s as the goal for Mars missions led by humans, although SpaceX launch of Starship is targeting to land there in the next couple of years to prepare for the crewed Mars flight.
For Mars missions of SpaceX, the Starship cluster and Super Heavy are the important pieces of Musk’s grand plan to assist humanity to colonize Mars. The spaceship in the making, after its launch to Earth orbit, can propel its own to Mars or other destinations and touch down on alien worlds and take off without the help of landing craft or ascent vehicles.