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Mars manned mission about to come out of realm of imagination

Till now human missions to Mars have been in the realm of imagination. Imaginative science fiction books describing human visits to Mars are being written since the late 19th century but the time is now ripe for human missions to Mars to become a reality. One person who seems surreally passionate about bringing the manned Mars mission out of the realm of imagination is SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. His pet project Starship is intended to take humans to the moon, mars, and beyond. This two-staged space vehicle is touted to be the most powerful launch vehicle ever built by humans. The time has come for humans to become Martians.

Elon Musk claims that man will land on Mars in 10 years. He is quite qualified to make this claim being CEO of leading aerospace company SpaceX. SpaceX has recently tested Starship, the most powerful launch vehicle ever built by man.

Elon Musk’s Starship seems capable of taking humans to Mars. The maiden test flight of Starship was not a complete success but it was definitely a successful failure. Starship cleared the launch tower without destroying it and survived Max-Q. About 4 minutes after the launch it became amply clear that all was not well. 6 of the 33 falcon raptor engines of the super heavy rocket booster (first stage of the vehicle) failed. When the engines of the rocket booster didn’t stop at the predetermined time and the first-stage booster and second-stage starship spacecraft didn’t separate as per the schedule, the flight termination system was activated and the Starship exploded over the Gulf of Mexico.

Elon Musk has always maintained that Starship is the vehicle destined to take humans to Mars and beyond, and frankly speaking, no other launch vehicle seems capable of achieving this feat in the next 10 years. Musk has forecast that man can reach Mars as early as 2029 and has made putting people on Mars by 2029 his target. But if his target slips to the 2030s then the target of NASA and Musk will become perfectly aligned, NASA’s aim is to send people to Mars in the 2030s. The significance of Starship can be understood by the fact that the 16 million pounds thrust generated by the supper heavy rocket booster of Starship is two times that of thrust generated by the Saturn 5 rocket.

Even the mega-rocket of NASA, SLS (space launch system), can generate only 8.8 million pound thrust at liftoff. NASA has decided to rely on a variant of Starship for its Artemis 3 mission.

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