SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has once again said that it is "highly likely" man will go to Mars within 10 years, putting his timeframe down to the fact he is "congenitally optimistic".
Mr Musk on Friday retweeted a video posted by his aerospace firm showing a successful test fire of its Starship prototype's booster rocket. "One day, Starship will take us to Mars," he wrote in the caption of his post. Notably, Starship, at its full capacity, is the most powerful rocket ever developed. As per SpaceX's website, it will "carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond."
On Friday, responding to his retweet, when one user asked Mr Musk about when humans will be able to go to the red planet, the SpaceX boss said, "I must admit to being congenitally optimistic (SpaceX & Tesla wouldn't exist otherwise), but I think 5 years is possible and 10 years is highly likely."
Take a look below:
I must admit to being congenitally optimistic (SpaceX & Tesla wouldn't exist otherwise), but I think 5 years is possible and 10 years is highly likely— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 9, 2023
The SpaceX video showed engineers conducting a static fire test. According to Mr Musk, 31 out of 33 engines at the base of the vehicle were ignited simultaneously. "Team turned off 1 engine just before start & 1 stopped itself, so 31 engines fired overall. But still enough engines to reach orbit," he tweeted. As per The New York Times, had all 33 engines been fired up at full power, this would have been the most powerful rocket ever ignited.
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Meanwhile, Elon Musk has teased when humans will reach Mars for years predicting a 2029 landing most recently. Taking to Twitter last year in March, he said that he now sees 2029 as the earliest date humans might first step on Mars.
More recently, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO even spoke more about his Mars mission. In a tweet addressed to former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Mr Musk said that he was hopeful of getting people on Mars by 2029.
Notably, if Mr Musk's target date slips much further into the 2030s, it will be very close to when the US space agency NASA is aiming to send the first astronauts to Mars.