A new space race: destination Mars

It seems we officially have a new space race. Some time ago Boeing CEO said:

I’m convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket – Dennis A. Muilenburg, Boeing CEO

The comment seems to be a response to the plans Elon Musk presented early for SpaceX and it’s Interplanetary Transport System. Being forced to compete with SpaceX on NASA’s public contracts and make such public statement is already significant and will put more fuel in the idea that a human mission to Mars in the next 20-30 years is possible and will happen.

Mars One was the first organization to publicly, and loudly say, we will put humans on Mars. Currently their roadmap point to the year 2027. NASA’s journey to Mars is probably the most credible plan and puts humans on Mars in the late 2030s. Since Boeing is piggy backing on NASA and it’s funding, it makes sense that the time frame is the same. For SpaceX, there are a lot of dates but the latest optimistic estimate is 2025. The European Space Agency (ESA) has an Aurora program which, according to the Wikipedia page, also estimate 2030s for the first human mission. ESA seems to have scrapped the human part of the Aurora program but maybe if the hype increase it is reintroduced.

There is off course much collaboration between public agencies and competition between private organizations. The important part is that the idea of putting people on Mars sticks and a new space race begins. Let the race begging!

Wallet   NASA Space X Boeing Mars One ESA
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NASA
Odds: 2 to 1
SpaceX
Odds: 2 to 1
Boeing
Odds: 3 to 1
Mars One
Odds: 7 to 1
ESA
Odds: 5 to 1