On Wednesday, Elon Musk went to Twitter to reveal his new grand plan for getting humans to Mars. In 2016, he stated that he believed SpaceX could get us there by 2024, and in 2020 he aimed for 2026, but plans have shifted once again. He now thinks the earliest first humans can arrive on Mars is 2029. That would put humanity at 60 years after the first moon landing.
Starship is the name of the spacecraft designed to take astronauts to the moon for NASA and eventually to Mars. As of now, it has made successful flights, but not yet to space.
Elon Musk blames federal launch regulations for slowing the process. He recently indicated he’s worried that if they can’t move forward more quickly, the company might go bankrupt before getting to Mars.
Getting to Mars is a complicated task due to how Earth and Mars gravitate around the sun. The planets move closer and farther away from each other every couple of years. The most advantageous times with the shortest distance between them in this decade are late 2024, late 2026, and late 2028 or early 2029.
Musk is currently in a race with NASA to get to Mars first. NASA previously aimed at sending astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s, so if SpaceX doesn’t reach their target date, NASA might beat them there.