SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated in a recent interview that he believes it possible to send a manned mission to the moon within the next two years and a crew to Mars within the next four.
In a recent interview with CBS News, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed the Apollo 11 mission as well as the future of space exploration. Discussing the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon, Musk stated that the mission was: “probably the most inspiring thing in history. It certainly inspired me. I’m not sure that SpaceX would exist if not for Apollo 11.”
Virgin’s Richard Branson and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos have both recently joined the space race, with Branson planning a space tourism firm called Virgin Galactic and Bezos planning to create moon colonies through his company Blue Origin. But Musk, as per usual, has greater ambitions. “Well, this is gonna sound pretty crazy … with an un-crewed vehicle, I believe we could land on the moon in two years,” Musk told Jeffrey Kluger, the co-author of “Apollo 13.”
“Sending crews to Mars in four years, I think that, that sounds pretty doable,” Musk said. “Like, internally, we would aim for two years, and then reality might be four.”
This week, SpaceX’s Starhopper small-scale test spacecraft exploded into flames after what appeared to be a fuel leak or fuel dump during a static fire test at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas. It is not yet fully clear why the starcraft burst into flames or how badly damaged it was as a result of the malfunction.
The Starhopper is a smaller-scale version of a larger spacecraft the firm is currently developing and is designed to test ideas for the larger version. It is expected that the Starhopper will be capable of performing short space flights called “hops.” The craft was planned to do an untethered test flight this week, hovering at around 20 meters, an improvement on the short tethered flights it has already completed.
Watch a video of the explosion below: