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Musk has faced a number of setbacks on his pursuit, such as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin lawsuit against NASA after it awarded SpaceX a multi-billion-dollar contract, as well as his decision to shift priorities towards the Starlink space internet project during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
However, responding to a question on Twitter on Wednesday evening (16 March), Musk suggested 2029 would now be the year SpaceX will take humans to Mars.
SpaceX has remained at the top of its game after reaching a number of milestones recently, such as stacking the primary craft aboard a Super Heavy booster at the company’s Starbase facility, located in Texas.
After combining with its booster, Starship will be capable of delivering up to 150 tons of payload into orbit, making it the most powerful rocket ever built.
2029— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 16, 2022
It looks like the billionaire’s attempts to build a rocket capable of human transportation around the solar system are in good stead, as the first orbital test flight for Starship will be taking place within the next month.
The rocket is set to take on a 90-minute journey from Starbase, travelling to a landing site just off the coast of Hawaii.
Starship has already completed a number of flight tests, but only one has ended in a successful landing with the rocket still intact.
Musk claims his biggest obstacle currently is ensuring the swift reusability of the Starship rocket, which he hopes will allow humans to transform into a multi-planetary species.
Check out one of Starship's test flights below:
“If aircraft were not reusable, how much would an airline ticket cost?” he questioned during a Starship event last month, during which he claimed flights could eventually cost as little as a few million dollars, describing it as ‘crazy low’ by current standards.
Musk’s life mission is to set up a permanent colony on Mars by 2050.
He previously shared a five-minute animation of what a Starship trip might look like, which demonstrated how the rocket would be delivered into orbit.
Starship would dock to a refuelling station in orbit around Earth, before continuing on its seven-month journey to Mars.