SpaceX Tests of Rocket to Take Humans to Mars Kicks Off in Coming Days

SpaceX launch of Thaicom 6 to Geo transfer orbit by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Elon Musk likes to dream big and he makes no apologies for it.

The entrepreneur and explorer also has no problem standing up to the mainstream media, recently telling a Washington Post reporter to “give my regards to your puppet master” when asked for comment on a story.

But when he’s not busy putting progressives in their place, Musk has much bigger things that he’s working on.

In fact he’s currently got his sights set on colonizing Mars. You read that right. The Red Planet is the next frontier for this space-focused genius, who recently announced that a major milestone has been reached by his SpaceX organization to putting the first human on Mars.

Unveiling ceremony of SpaceX Dragon V2 by NASAKennedy is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Next Stop: Red Planet

The rocket that Musk hopes will take humans to Mars is being launched in the next few days according to Musk, who said the Starship is just about ready to take flight. The Starship – or SN10 – is having various tests and assessments done at the SpaceX headquarters in Texas and Musk hopes that it can be sent into space later in the year.

Starship is still in the testing phase, but if successful could be a way for humans to land on and eventually colonize Mars. The launch of the Starship had to be put off due to the severe winter storms that hit the Lone Star State over the past several weeks.

Before the SN10, SpaceX’s SN9 didn’t do so well in tests. It reached an altitude of six miles but then stopped and crashed back into earth in a ball of flames. The predecessor SN8 also didn’t do so well and literally crashed and burned as well.

But Musk isn’t giving up. Ever since starting SpaceX in 2002 he’s had his sights set on the stars and he’s now been given the green light by the Federal Aviation Administration to launch SN10 when ready.

After all, it often takes many failures before you achieve success.

Will the SN10 Succeed?

At this point it’s an open question whether the SN10 test flight will succeed, but it seems quite likely that SpaceX’s determination and ingenuity will pay off this time around. Hopefully Musk has learned from his mistakes and is ready to make this one a full success.

Still, Musk says that the SN10 only has about a 33% chance of successfully launching and then landing, because there are many issues which could go wrong and derail the flight.

Musks long-term plan is to build a 1,000-starship fleet and help 1 million people reach Mars and colonize the Red Planet. Musk even has a plan to give people loans so that those who aren’t rich can afford the trip and start a new life on Mars. He plans to have his first manned rocket land on Mars by 2024 and wants to start ferrying cargo to Mars by 2022.

SpaceX already flies things to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA and helps companies and the government to launch satellites, so it’s clear that it has the expertise and know-how to make big strides in the area of space exploration.

The SN10 will be about 165 feet tall and be fitted out with ultra turbo Raptor engines that can crank it up to 15,000 miles an hour in air. It remains to be seen whether this test flight will be successful, but either way it’s likely to be a valuable learning experience as SpaceX continues improving its technology and operations.

Musk’s ambition is admirable and we wish him the best of success on his SN10 launch.