Jun 18, 2014 03:21 PM EDT
Earlier this month the National Research Council deemed NASA's strategies to send humans to Mars unsustainable and unsafe. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, believes that such Mars missions can be achieved within the next 10-12 years.
SpaceX was recently ranked number one on the 2014 CNBC Disruptor 50 company list, which includes private companieswhose innovations are revolutionizing their industries and the way we live. The private space company currently conducts commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.
Just a few weeks ago, Musk and SpaceX revealed their Dragon V2 spacecraft that is expected to transport humans to and from the International Space Station beginning in 2016. Variousadvancements made to this Dragon spacecraft sequel are expected to provide a domestic option for the transport of astronauts, as the United States currently relies on Russian rockets and rocket engines to do so.
The promising direction of SpaceX has prompted Mr. Musk to make bold claims: he vocalized his opinion of the "monopolization" of national security-related launches between the U.S. Air Force and the United Launch Alliance (ULA). Musk doesn't understand why his company can't compete for the rights to conduct such launches, and he decided to take action by filing an injunction against the ULA for purchasing Russian rocket engines after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia following the crisis in Ukraine.
Now Musk is boldly claiming humans can be sent to Mars before 2030 after the National Research Council said NASA's strategy is unfit to do so. The company's recent developments - the Dragon V2 spacecraft and the Falcon Heavy rocket - are expected to revolutionize space travel. The Falcon Heavy, once completed, is poised to be the most powerful rocket ever developed. SpaceX is also working to make both of these spacecraft reusable to save millions of dollars each year.
"I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it's certainly possible for that to occur," he said in this CNBC News article. "But the thing that matters long term is to have a self sustaining city on Mars, to make life multi-planetary."
Only time will tell, and Musk is a man of his word, so we'll see how developments progress over the next few years.
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