After Space Exploration Technologies Corp's (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket has conducted a "soft landing" on Earth, a private company hopes to do it on Mars someday.
Such landing method, according to SpaceX, marks a big shift allowing private companies to reuse the rockets, hence, cutting down costs.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and former PayPal entrepreneur, claimed SpaceX has made some significant progress toward making a reality. He said, "So far we've been able to land spacecraft on Mars-Curiosity and Endeavor are currently exploring the Red Planet. SpaceX is closer to establishing a self-sustaining, permanent base on the alien planet. Headway isn't moving along as fast as I'd like. Progress on our reusable rocket is a key component to one day making it to Mars. We feel fairly confident that we will be ready in two years."
If SpaceX perfects the "soft landing" method, it would cut costs by a massive 70 percent. Currently, the cost of a flight is about $60 million dollars.
In 2012, Curiosity Rover by NASA made a successful landing on Mars. The spacecraft weighed only one ton. Currently, it is impossible to shuttle humans to Mars due to the planet's thin atmosphere. Anything more than one ton will make it difficult for spacecrafts to slow down to make a safe landing. Manned sessions would easily weigh about 40 tons due to the weight of the men and their gears.
The SpaceX is to reduce space exploration costs and colonize Mars.
- First privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit.
- First privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.
- First private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
- First private company to send a satellite into geosynchronous orbit.
- NASA awarded the company a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services contract to design and demonstrate a launch system to resupply cargo to the ISS.
- NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon as part of its Commercial Crew Development program to transport crew to the ISS.