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“We’re going all the way to Mars, I think… best case 10 years, worst case 15 to 20 years.”

Elon Musk: “We’ll probably put a first man in space in about three years. We’re going all the way to Mars, I think… best case 10 years, worst case 15 to 20 years.”

I believe him when he says he’ll launch his first manned mission in three years. However, I think he seriously underestimates the challenges of a mission to Mars, based on our present engineering abilities to build interplanetary spaceships.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Of course, he’s a child of the Mars Society.. he’s bought into the argument that tether based artificial gravity is easy to do and not really necessary anyway and all that radiation junk is just nervous flight surgeons. In fact, he’s more hardcore than Zubrin because he wants to go one-way-to-stay. So I expect his mind is filled with a single number: 30 tons to the surface of Mars. First cargo, then crew.. or should I say colonists?

    Does Falcon Heavy allow you to put 30 tons on the surface of Mars? No, more like 10 tons. That is, when they have their Dragon capsule that can land on Mars they’ll already have the vehicle that can put it into Mars transfer orbit. This will be a testbed for the bigger rocket.. and yes, Elon is a fan of the one-big-rocket concept, just like Zubrin.

  • Kelly Starks

    Ah Trent, you can’t put 10 tons on Mars, and ceratainly not anyone in a 20 ton Dragon, with a Falcon 9h. And you can’t get folks alive to Mars in a Dragon (or a Orion for that mater).

    Musks projections, and cost numbers are increasingly out of wack.

  • Kelly Starks

    I was just thinking this am that Musks doing all hes done, two-three boosters and a capsule (maned and cargo) for about what Rutan spent to develop SS1&2 and WK 1+2; and I don’t beleave Musk’s people are vastly brighter the Rutans proven team. Musk has to be cutting some serious corners somewhere.

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