The Dragon spacecraft is already tasked with delivering supplies to the International Space Station, an important mission given the kind of work the facility does, but Elon Musk and SpaceX are interested in bigger and brighter things, like bringing man to Mars.
Musk talked about traveling to Mars in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, dropping hints of future SpaceX plans.
While it would seem that SpaceX is mainly focused on the Dragon spacecraft and its missions to the ISS (the private spaceflight is set to make its fifth resupply mission out of 12 agreed to in a contract with NASA), it was working on a Mars transport system as well, the details of which Musk will reveal within the year.
Musk said that it was a good thing, too, that SpaceX didn't unveil the Mars transport system sooner because the company is still learning so much about space travel from the Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon rocket.
"Our spacesuit design is finally coming together and will also be unveiled later this year. We are putting a lot of effort into design aesthetics, not just utility. It needs to both look like a 21st century spacesuit and work well. Really difficult to achieve both, " he set to utilize reusable rocket engines, space capsules and launch vehicles. More than just a way to save money, SpaceX's plan to reuse the Falcon rocket from the CRS-5 resupply mission makes a lot of sense as it is a means of testing landing technology it could use in the future.
Currently, the Dragon spacecraft is capable of a payload of 5, 200 pounds, while the standard payload for the Space Shuttle was 53, 000 pounds. A system capable of facilitating Mars colonization has a goal of 100 metric tons or 220, 500 pounds, according to Musk.
So far, the heaviest payload ever launched was 260, 000 pounds. It was given a boost by the Saturn V, the same rocket used on the Apollo missions.
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