Elon Musk Admits Flying to Mars Might Be Hard

Postado Julho 20, 2017

"I would like to at some point", he said.

Still, SpaceX hopes to focus on a Crew Dragon orbital launch, as well as testing its automated docking capabilities, which don't require capture and attachment via the Space Station's robotic arm, as is the case with the current capsule.

He said the company plans to recover the fairing - the clamshell covering that protects a satellite at the tip of the rocket - by the end of the year, and will try to re-fly it by later this year or early next year.

SpaceX has successfully landed its rocket boosters and used them again.

The company has multiple reasons for scrapping these plans, the big one seemingly being that it no longer appears to be the right approach for landing on Mars.

Building those thrusters into Dragon 2 would have meant that capsules returning to Earth from orbit could have landed that way. But the company has only transported cargo so far, and Musk said shifting to carrying passengers is "a huge step up".

Safety concerns prompted SpaceX to abandon the concept for Dragon 2. But the capsules will continue to land via parachute, unless SpaceX does another about-face. It wouldn't then make sense to use the Dragon to land on Mars. Musk mused Wednesday that the Mars vehicle could be downsized a bit, making it capable of performing Earth-orbit missions, as well as the expected trips to Mars. Not anymore. The Dragon will still have the engines necessary because they're needed for the emergency abort system.

Elon Musk Admits Flying to Mars Might Be Hard

Of course, Musk did hint that SpaceX has not completely abandoned this landing concept, and that the company could bring it back later, but "it doesn't seem like the right [way] to apply resources right now".

Musk also explored his feelings about Falcon Heavy, once again expressing the realization that developing the heavy lift vehicle was far more hard than simply attaching three boosters.

Musk said he's updated his long-term plan for colonizing Mars to make it more economically feasible.

Musk also brought up another rocket that SpaceX has been working on for many years: the Falcon Heavy. "Assuming things work out, yeah, maybe in three or four years".

As SpaceX has found clever ways of reducing the cost of launching rockets into space, the Boring Company will aim to reduce the now prohibitive costs of tunneling.

Meanwhile, Musk also addressed the upcoming Falcon Heavy rocket-and downplayed everyone's expectations for it, according to The Verge.

SpaceX has experienced a fair share of (fiery) failures in the past, and the potential for problems with early Falcon Heavy launches had the SpaceX CEO joking about the character of the crew members aboard the first manned missions: "No question, whoever's on the first flight... fearless".