SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk, on April 27, 2016, revealed that the company will launch an upgraded Dragon capsule to Mars on 2018.
The space exploration firm announced that NASA will provide ample technical assistance during this mission in exchange for valuable entry and landing data.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX has previously announced that their company’s main aim is to colonize Mars, and he is quite confident in taking people there by mid-2020.
Before making this significant leap, Musk is seeking to make things fall on the dot without fail, and he is planning to conduct the test landing in the most meticulous manner.
The unmanned Dragon capsule is expected to take off from Earth on May 2018, and it will land on Mars by November end or December first. It will take more than six months to reach the surface of the red planet.
Soon after the release of the statement by Space X, Dava J. Newman, NASA’s deputy administrator told that they are much closer than ever before to sending American astronauts to Mars. She also added that NASA is not working alone in this mission; clearly indicating Space X’s role in this project.
Newman confirmed that NASA will provide all technical assistance for SpaceX‘s plan to land an unmanned Dragon 2 spacecraft on Mars.
Landing smoothly on Mars is not an easy deal, as the atmosphere is too thin for parachutes for gentle landing. On Wednesday night, Musk tweeted that Dragon 2 is designed to land anywhere in the solar system, and the mission on 2018 will be a test flight.
The Soviet Union was the first country to land a spacecraft successfully on Mars. In 1971, their ‘Mars 3’ landed smoothly on the red planet, but it soon went quiet.