Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Musk promises 1st 'up-and-down flight' for SpaceX Mars rocket next year

Musk promises 1st 'up-and-down flight' for SpaceX Mars rocket next year

SpaceX founder Elon Musk reveals its Mars-intended rocket may be able to launch by 2019 but joked that it is so risky that joining it could be deadly. "I think we'll be able to do short flights, short up-and-down flights, sometime in the first half of next year", he told screenwriter and director Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher, onstage.

Musk said that "they now don't think it's possible so that if we show them that it is, then I think that they will up their game and they will build interplanetary transport vehicles, as well".

The 46-year-old business magnate, however, admitted that his announcement could be wrong. SpaceX announced the venture in 2017, with a stated target of sending its first payload mission to Mars in 2022.

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SpaceX ran into trouble in 2008 when its Falcon 1 rocket failed to launch, and Tesla, named after 19th-century Serbian-American scientist Nikola Tesla, narrowly avoided bankruptcy just before Christmas that year. "Life cannot just be about solving one miserable problem after another". While over ambition is something we have come to accept from Elon Musk, the recent launches of the Falcon Heavy Rocket have certainly pushed things forward.

The BFR launching in 2019 is expected to be capable of interplanetary travel. It should also be fully reusable.

To the first travelers who will go to the red planet, Musk quotes the Shackleton ad meant for Antarctic explorers several decades ago, which reads "Difficult, dangerous, good chance you'll die". "It's hard, dangerous, [there's a] good chance you will die, excitement for those who survive, that kind of thing", he joked. "This will prove to other companies and countries that it can be done, give them an incentive to go and do it themselves".

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