Elon Musk has revealed the first glimpse of a SpaceX base on Mars.
Musk tweeted the pictures with the simple caption ‘Mars base alpha’.
It shows the firm’s Big F***ing Rocket (BFR) on the surface of the red planet, with a dome base in the background, and what appear to be solar panels.
Musk tweeted the pictures with the simple caption ‘Mars base alpha’ giving no further details. It shows the firm’s Big F***ing Rocket (BFR) on the surface of the red planet, with a dome base in the background, and what appear to be solar panels.
It a response to a question about the base and when it could be build, Musk tweeted ‘Probably 2028 for a base to be built’.
It comes as SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell, 54,confirmed SpaceX’s intentions to launch the rocket for the first time in 2020, with missions to the moon and Mars planned for 2022 and 2024 respectively.
‘We would like to put large cargo on the surface of the moon by 2022,’ she told the Air Force Association’s annual symposium in Maryland.
‘And we have our eyes on the prize to send people to Mars in 2024.’
She admitted those plans might ‘sound crazy, but everything we’ve ever done has sounded crazy to people.’
The top part of the BFR rocket has 40 cabins, which could hold up to six passengers each.
At nearly 348 feet (106 metres) tall, the BFR is a truly gigantic spaceship, towering over the 229-feet-tall (70 metres) Falcon Heavy rocket. The spaceship will take off and land vertically, powered by 37 ‘raptor’ engines, to produce a liftoff thrust of 5,400 tons, lifting a total mass of 4,400 tons. Pictured, the ship touching down on the red planet
The image is the first time Musk has revealed his latest vision for a spaceX base o the red planet
The powerful launch vehicle will have the capacity to lift 150 tons into space and consist of two stages – both of which are reusable.
Shotwell said: ‘I hope to be doing hot tests next year with the second stage, the spaceship, and make an orbital flight in 2020.
Earlier this month Musk revealed a Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first man to fly on the BFR SpaceX rocket for an approximately seven-day trip around the Moon as early as 2023, and he plans to bring six to eight artists along.
Maezawa, 42, will be the first lunar traveler since the last U.S. Apollo mission in 1972.
He paid an unspecified amount of money for the privilege.
SpaceX would launch military weapons into space to help the United States defend itself, according to chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell (file photo)
‘Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Moon,’ Maezawa said at SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles, late Monday.
‘This is my lifelong dream.’
Maezawa is chief executive of Japan’s largest online fashion mall, and is the 18th richest person in Japan with a fortune of $3 billion, according to the business magazine Forbes.
He is the founder of ZOZO, a global company based in Japan where people can buy clothing online.
The space exploration firm’s chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell, 54, suggested its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) could be used in future military operations.
Speaking this month at the Air Force Association’s annual symposium in Maryland, she answered several questions about SpaceX’s military ties.
The company has already launched top-secret surveillance satellites for the Navy, Air force, CIA and National Security Agency (NSA).
Asked whether SpaceX would consider sending weapons into space, Shotwell, seemingly surprised, said: ‘I’ve never been asked that question.
‘If it’s for the defence of this country, yes, I think we would.’
She added that the company spent ‘a lot of time building our relationship with the Air Force’.
Shotwell, 54, suggested SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket (artist’s impression) could be used in future military operations. The spacecraft will have the capacity to fly halfway around the world in 30 minutes, according to SpaceX
‘We’re now in a good position,’ she added.
‘We’re competing. We’re winning some, and losing some.’
Pictured is SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, the largest commercial rocket in history. The vehicle was launched for the first time in February. SpaceX has now suggested it would consider launching weapons for the US military
The huge second stage spaceship will travel half way around the world in under 30 minutes, she said.
‘Imagine what we could do for the defence of the United States.’
SpaceX launched 18 missions last year using its Falcon 9 rocket, more than any company or country bar Russia, which flew 19 missions.
Musk has been engrossed in controversy in recent days. Last week, he smoked pot while doing an interview during a podcast with Joe Rogan
The company is on track to complete as many as 24 launches by the end of this year having sent 16 into orbit so far, including February’s historic Falcon Heavy flight.
China is attempting to carry out 40 launches in 2018, and has already completed 24.
‘I was hoping to beat the Chinese this year,’ Shotwell said.
‘It does concern me that China is flying 40 times this year. And it’s not for commercial customers. They have very few commercial customers.’
‘So what in the world are they doing?’ she added.
‘The fact that I’m not beating them is a shame. The fact that they’re launching 40 times is something we should all be worried about.’