SpaceX missions

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The first and second mission to Mars for SpaceX have been presented by Elon Musk in talks to the International Astronautical Congress in 2016[1] and 2017[2]

These dates are aspirational, but SpaceX has not yet published revised dates.

First robotic mission 2022

The first robotic mission should include two Starship vehicles in robotic mode, carrying robotic equipment to 'Confirm water resources and identify hazards. Place power, mining and life supports infrastructure for future flights'. 200 tonnes to Mars

First manned mission 2024

The first manned mission should include two crewed Starships and two cargo starships. Their missions will be 'set up the propellant production plant and build up the base to prepare for future expansion'. 400 tonnes to Mars. Crew would be 'A dozen'[3].

Basic parameters

  • Two Stage To Orbit entirely recoverable launch vehicles. Up to 1000 launches for first stage (Booster), 100 launches for second stage (Starship), 50 launches per engine (Raptor).
  • Passengers, up to 100 per Starship vehicle.
  • 120 to 180 days transit times.
  • Orbital refueling, 4 tanker launches per Mars trip per vehicles.
  • In-situ fuel production for vehicle return. Oxygen and methane.
  • Solar surface power for energy production. Optional nuclear.
  • 100+ tonnes cargo to surface. Supersonic retropropulsion and powered landings.
  • Long term cryogenic storage required.
  • High speed Earth entry. Limited cargo return from Mars, from 20 to 50 tonnes. SSTO return to Earth.
  • Two first cargo vehicles will probably stay on Mars.