SpaceX could reveal plans for a Mars mission sometime in 2016, CEO Elon Musk has said. He said he hopes to introduce commercial spaceflights that will essentially transport people to Mars by 2025.
Speaking at the StartmeupHK Festival in Hong Kong, he said he plans to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on board one of his own SpaceX aircraft by 2020. The firm will also be focusing on exploring space travel to and beyond Mars and might make its plans public by September.
SpaceX is currently collaborating with Nasa to test out its Dragon capsule, which has already successfully transported cargo to the ISS. At present, Nasa engineers are working with Space X to test the capsule's safety and human compatibility features. The company is hoping to convert the current cargo carrier into a human space transportation aircraft soon. "I don't think it's that hard, honestly," he quipped. "You float around. It's not that hard to float around."
Although there has been some speculation over SpaceX's human missions being delayed due to a few hiccups noted in the Dragon capsule's performance, Musk maintains that his company will launch a human manned mission aboard the Dragon 2 spacecraft by the end of 2017. The company's much publicised mission launching and landing one of its rockets ended in failure earlier last month.
Musk said he was looking forward to announcing a new rocket model at the upcoming International Astronautical Congress which is slated to take place in Mexico from 26-30 September. "We'll have a next generation rocket and spacecraft beyond the Falcon-Dragon series, and I'm hoping to describe that architecture later this year at the International Astronautical Congress," he said.