A CNBC host asked Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Muilenburg who would get on Mars first, him or Elon Musk? And, that is where things got interesting. His reply was, “Eventually we’re going to go to Mars and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket.”
During his interview, Dennis Muilenburg talked about the plans Boeing has for the future. “We’re working on that next generation rocket right now with our NASA customers called ‘Space Launch System’. This is a rocket that’s about 36 stories tall, we’re in the final assembly right now, down near New Orleans. And we’re going to take a first test flight in 2019 and we’re going to do a slingshot mission around the moon.”
The Boeing CEO has previously taunted Musk on the similar topic of space exploration at a tech conference last year, where he said, “I’m convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket.” Musk took this as a challenge and in his own fashion tweeted the words “Do it”.
We already know what Musk is planning all the way up to 2030. His plans include the first manned trip to Mars by the year 2024. He plans to get to Mars on a 42-engine rocket called BFR. The rocket can carry 100 people and 150 tons of cargo.
The Mars mission is described on the SpaceX website with a quote from Elon Musk, “You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”
Boeing has partnered up with NASA for the Deep Space Gateway, which will serve as a launchpad for deep space missions and they aim to use this to get to Mars before SpaceX. The race is on. Who will come out on top?