Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX–the American private space flight company, claims that the company is almost ready to fly a starship rocket to Mars in the next four years.
Musk, while talking to Robert Zurbin of The Mars Society, on YouTube, during the International Mars Society Convention, said that the company has a "fighting chance" of making a second Mars Window which opens in 2022, after 2 years.
Musk, however, seemed to be referring to the 2024 Mars launch opportunity. In 2020 NASA, also, wants to return astronauts to the moon. Earlier in July 2020, NASA, China and the United Arab Emirates launched missions to Mars, SpaceX was unable to do so.
He also said that the first few tests will be difficult, with a high risk of failure.
"We'll probably lose a few ships before we get the atmospheric return and landing right," he said while talking to The Mars Society.
SpaceX is currently working on building a prototypes of the huge rockets in Texas, the company also got a contract from NASA to use vehicles for human landing on moon.
According to Musk, the starship could be ready to test orbital refuelling by 2022, he, however, said that there might be a changes in the estimated dates. "It's not like I have all these secret dates and I'm just keeping them from people," he said.
As of now, the new rocket has completed at least two successful 150-meter test flights and the SpaceX starship is designed to carry heavy payloads around the solar system and to hold as many as 100 people.
Earth and Mars reach their closest proximity every 26 months, the typical cycle when NASA and other space agencies launch science missions to Mars.
Musk has always believed that humans need to establish a permanent and self-sustaining presence on Mars to ensure "the continuance of consciousness as we know it"–just in case a nuclear war or an asteroid strike makes the earth uninhabitable.
However, SpaceX doesn't have any plans, as of now, of building a Mars base. "A transportation company, its only goal is to ferry cargo (and humans) to and from the Red Planet, facilitating the development of someone else's Mars base." read an article on Space.com, a popular space and astronomy news website.