The CEO of Boeing recently stated his belief that the company will transport astronauts to Mars before Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Space.com reports that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg appeared on CNBC recently to discuss the development of the company’s new rocket. He was asked by CNBC host Jim Cramer if he believed Boeing or SpaceX would “get a man on Mars first,” to which Muilenburg replied, “Eventually we’re going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket.”
Currently, Boeing is the main contractor for NASA’s Space Launch System, working alongside United Launch Alliance, Orbital ATK, and Aerojet Rocketdyne to develop the SLS system which aims to launch rockets into deep space using NASA’s new Orion spacecraft. NASA’s first objective is to construct a “Deep Space Gateway” near the moon before using the SLS to send astronauts to Mars, and the first test launch for the new development is scheduled for 2019.
Mars has been a longtime goal destination for Elon Musk, who has previously discussed developing a human colony on the planet. With the development of SpaceX’s new Big Falcon Rocket, the company has become more confident about their ability to reach the planet. While the BFR would aim to transport astronauts on deep space missions, the company has also announced the development of the Falcon Heavy, which would transport large payloads, the first of which is expected to be a red Tesla Speedster.
Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017
Responding to Muilenburg’s claims that a Boeing rocket will be the first to transport astronauts to Mars, Elon Musk posted to Twitter a very short and simple reply of, “Do it.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2017
To which Boeing replied, “Game on!”
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) December 7, 2017