Us company SpaceX has successfully conducted bench tests of the engine the Raptor that you want to use for flights to Mars. The exact specifications of the engine, the company did not disclose, but its founder Elon Musk on Twitter said that the Raptor runs on liquid methane and oxygen. 27 Sep Musk will present a plan for a manned trip to Mars that SpaceX plans to undertake in the next decade.
For flights to the red planet SpaceX has developed the Falcon Heavy – as approved on its website, the most powerful of the missiles used currently in the world. It is able to deliver to low earth orbit (Leo, 200 km) 54 tons of cargo, is twice more than its closest rival, the Delta IV Heavy and a third of the cost”. The standard payment for the launch of the Falcon Heavy, according to the SpaceX website, is $ 85 million. The first test launch of the carrier rocket, the Falcon Heavy is scheduled for the end of the year. Further, the project Interplanetary Transport System, it is planned to create an even more powerful rocket, where will be installed the Raptor engine.
In 2017, the company intends to begin testing of Dragon V2 spacecraft, the maximum the crew of which may extend to seven people. In 2018, SpaceX plans to launch Dragon V2 to Mars, but this flight will be unmanned, and the ship will not return to Earth.
A manned mission is planned in the period from 2020 to 2025. To create a neighboring planet scientific base SpaceX intends to launch ships to Mars approximately every 26 months. The plans includes an item about creating a base for 100 people.
The head of NASA Charles Bolden in March statedthat the US space Agency is considering the preparation of the first manned flight to Mars not as an American and as an international project and intends to cooperate in the implementation with other countries.
According to him, NASA expects to launch the first manned mission to the Red planet around mid 2030-ies. While Bolden said that the current political disagreements between Washington and Moscow should not interfere with cooperation in the preparation of a travel to Mars.
“Even in times of very serious diplomatic tensions between our countries, we have successfully carried out a peaceful cooperation with the Russian colleagues on the International space station,” admitted Bolden. And now, when there is such cooperation with the participation of many countries may not be the rivalry that existed during the cold war.