Elon Musk Doubles Down On Mars Dreams And Details What’s Next For SpaceX’s Starship

Elon Musk has long been open about his dreams of using SpaceX to spread humanity’s presence further into the solar system. Following the successful launch of the company’s mammoth Starship vehicle last month, the idea is beginning to look less far-fetched.

In a speech at the company’s facilities in South Texas, Musk explained how he envisions using Starship to deliver millions of tons of cargo to Mars over the next couple of decades to create a self-sustaining civilization.

“Starship is the first design of a rocket that is actually capable of making life multiplanetary,” Musk said. Starship is central to those plans, and Musk outlined the company’s roadmap for the massive rocket over the coming years.

Assuming they can get Starship to survive the extreme heat of reentry, they are also going to attempt landing the vehicle on a mock launch pad out at sea in 2024, with the aim of being able to land and reuse it by next year.

Musk said the Texas sites would be mostly used for test launches and development work, with the Florida ones being the main hub for launches once Starship begins commercial operations.

That’s crucial, according to Musk, because Starships initially won’t return from Mars and will instead be used as raw materials to construct structures on the surface.

It will be necessary to replenish the fuel used up by Starship on launch so it has a full tank as it sets off for Mars.

Musk envisions entire armadas of Starships setting off together whenever these windows arrive.

SpaceX has done some early work on what needs to happen once Starships arrive at the red planet.