Elon Musk is nearing his vision of Mars Colonization. His Crew Dragon has already made successful flights to ISS, and his Mars Starship prototype might also reach orbit in 2021.
The dream of conquering space is an old one, and thanks to advances in technology and commercial players like SpaceX joining the space race, the dream is slowly turning into a reality. While SpaceX isn’t the first commercial entity to launch missions into space, it has certainly become the major player in the private spaceflight industry, and it’s going to make more waves as it moves closer to its eventual goal: colonization of Mars.
As per the famous business magnate Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, human spaceflight has always been one of the major goals behind establishing the company. While his previous generation spacecraft, Dragon 1, has been transporting cargo to the International Space Station for some time now (it has made 20 trips), the company achieved its major milestone of human spaceflight only recently.
In May 2020, Crew Dragon, which is SpaceX’s spacecraft designed to transport a human crew to space, delivered two astronauts safe and sound to the ISS. It was the first time since 2011 that a crewed spaceflight took off to ISS from the US soil.
Now, Elon Musk and his company are aiming for the next frontier: Mars.
The red planet of Mars is widely considered humanity’s first space colonization stop. It’s already home to eight rovers that we’ve sent to Mars over the years.
Now, Elon Musk is working towards sending people to the red planet. Though the timeline for a crewed Mars mission is years into the future (2027), to be precise, there are two major events to look out for in the coming 2021.
In early 2021, SpaceX is planning to try a new prototype, SN9, which is designed to (hopefully) take humans to Mars in the future. Since its predecessor, SN8, failed quite spectacularly, people are a bit skeptical about the new flight, but SpaceX and Elon Musk seem determined.
The new Starship is expected to hit orbit this time and will hopefully land back successfully. NASA is invested in the success of this spaceflight as well as it has poured $135 million into the Starship program.
The Dragon Crew is also expected to take to space again in 2021 and fly a crew of four to the ISS.
Elon Musk is a beloved internet celebrity, and not just because of his status as an influential visionary, but also because of his somewhat eccentric claims. Like his claims that if he creates a settlement on Mars, it will be financially sustained by cryptocurrencies. It might seem far-fetched now, but by the time of Mars colonization, cryptocurrencies might as well see universal adaption.
SpaceX isn’t publicly listed yet, and it’s still privately held, so its space strides don’t translate to major stock fluctuations. But Elon Musk’s other company, Tesla, is doing pretty well on that front. Tesla’s stock jumped over 700% in 2020 alone.
Tesla became one of the largest electrical vehicle producers in 2020. In the first three quarters, the company produced over 318,000 units. The company has also delivered five consecutive quarters of profitability, which is a huge improvement over its previous history.
Elon Musk’s vision regarding cryptocurrencies on Mars also impacts Tesla as he recently inquired about converting some large transactions of Tesla’s balance sheet into Bitcoin.