(ORDO NEWS) — During an interview this week in Berlin, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he was “very confident” that his space company would land humans on the surface of Mars as early as 2026.
“If we’re lucky, maybe in four years. We want to organize an unmanned mission in two years, ”he added.
Musk’s ambitious timeline hinges on the company’s pace of development of the massive Starship spacecraft , designed to carry 100 passengers or 100 tons of cargo between planets.
SpaceX has made significant strides in developing its next generation spacecraft. The company’s latest prototype, dubbed the Starship SN8, is set to make its first test flight to over 15,000 meters this week. However, it is still unclear when Starship will first enter orbit with astronauts on board.
In October, Musk spoke with the founder of the Martian Society, Robert Zubrin, and during the dialogue said that his company has “a good chance to get to Mars through the second window,” meaning the convergence of Mars and Earth, which occurs approximately once every 26 months, which falls on 2024 year.
The first flights aboard Starship will definitely not be for the faint of heart. During the September Humans to Mars summit, Elon Musk stressed that flying can be “very difficult and dangerous,” adding that “it is very likely that you will die.”
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