SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk received an award from media giant Axel Springer on Tuesday and he sat down for a wide-ranging interview that featured topics including space, Tesla, AI and even underpopulation. Musk spoke about SpaceX’s Mars ambitions initially, providing current timelines he’s working on for reaching the red planet with SpaceX’s Starship, the next-generation spacecraft it expects to fly in a new high-altitude test later this week.
Musk said that he hopes humans to land on Mars in approximately six years and that he’s quite confident about that timeline. Speculations are based on the fact that Earth and Mars are in sync in terms of their relative orbits around the sun almost every 26 months. SpaceX intends to conduct an uncrewed launch and landing on Mars expectedly at the next chance within the next two years. He added that with luck, a first human landing could materialize during the next Mars-Earth synchronization after that, in four years instead of six.
Asked about Musk’s own maiden trip to orbit, he answered possibly two or three years, though he qualified that his initial goal is in place to allow a lot of people to go to Mars and make life interplanetary, and to have a base on the moon, minimizing his own personal spaceflight goals.
.Starship is preparing for its maiden big high-altitude flight test. It’ll be flying at SpaceX’s Texas development facility, and that to complete a crucial static engine test-fire of its prototype before an actual flight.