Elon Musk’s SpaceX project appears to have hit a stumbling block after he hinted that his team will produce smaller rockets than those planned to take large groups to Mars. SpaceX plans originally included a rocket of 12-meters in diameter with 42 individual rockets that could ferry at least 100 passengers to the red planet. Musk recently suggested that the rocket will now be just 9-meters in diameter and will only be capable of carrying a much smaller load. Experts say the new rocket will leave the engines with almost half the mass and a considerably smaller number of rockets—estimated at 21. It would not be surprising if people have this question in mind: Is the SpaceX launch to Mars on hold?
Some Details on the Planned SpaceX Launch to Mars
According to Engadget, SpaceX’s latest move is more feasible on many levels. The new rocket size will cut costs, eliminate issues surrounding production, as well as reduce technical complexity and mass. Weight, of course, is the most important criteria when considering spaceflight.
Musk has previously said that his main challenge would be to find a facility big enough to enable his team to build rockets of substantial size. Without a doubt, the new 9-meter rocket will be a much easier design to produce. Although it will not be the originally planned 12-meter giant, the new 9-meter design will still leave the 3.7-meter Falcon 9 rocket very much in the dust. Thus, it remains to be seen whether the SpaceX project comes to fruition. It’s highly unlikely that the 2019 manned test flight of the SpaceX launch to Mars will become a reality at the current pace of production.
Falcon 9, Hyperloop, Tesla — Musk Has a Lot on His Plate
In May, a highly secret launch mission performed for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office saw the Falcon 9 successfully launch and land at Cape Canaveral. Although the project has been progressing, it’s proving to be slow and extremely behind schedule. Similarly, Musk’s Hyperloop One train project recently underwent tests at its development plant in Nevada. However, it only reached a maximum speed of 70 mph. Elon Musk predicts its speeds will reach 76c0mph when launched, yet the project is delayed.
Moreover, the entrepreneur recently scrapped plans for his Red Dragon capsule altogether but promised something better would take its place. His solar roof tile project has also begun to slowly bubble under the surface, with operation and staffing issues evident across the organization. Finally, his Boring Company recently unveiled plans for an underground car sled that will supposedly cut congestion by more than half. However, critics laughed at the proposals. Such plans for the construction work would congest roads and tunnels even further—as well as yield costs which will undoubtedly hit epic proportions.
Elon Musk and His Ambitions
Although Musk is managing to make some headroom with his many technologically advanced projects, he’s fast becoming known as an overambitious dreamer who can’t deliver. Experts say the fundamental basics of his projects are good ones, but they aren’t unique. From solar roof panels and vehicle transport models to new train designs and space missions, organizations around the world are delivering similar projects as Musk’s. What has made the billionaire stand out are his promises of innovative modern technologies that can change the course of humanity. However, he hasn’t been able to deliver on these ‘super human’ ambitions yet—especially on the topic of the SpaceX launch to Mars.