Of course also expected was details involving the Mars 500 – it just seemed the Elon thing to do and made good business sense (if done right & Elon would do right!) AND actually, as more details are revealed we may find he is involved with and helping out the Mars 500 OR is capitalizing of of their idea which perhaps they won’t be able to come up with the money and then there are trained civilians qualified for Mars. Interesting.
Actually this could go so many different ways. SpaceX unmanned mission flies and is part of Mars 500, SpaceX mission flies instead of Mars 500, SpaceX flies in addition to…those are the basic possibilities. Actually, perhaps cooler is that the Mars mission from Earth might be facing a few issues, as a mission that requires so much by an agency that gets so little will. If SpaceX flies to Mars and makes a successful landing (unsure how this would be possible at this time) it would be a huge boost to NASA and help when their turn comes. BUT also, if SpaceX were to go to Mars but be unsuccessful, well, that would help NASA also. The data that would be offered and the learning what didn’t work can only help NASA in their planning. Maybe even speed them up from going to Phobos first to going directly to Mars. (Although I actually am fully in favor of a Phobos/Deimos first-trip).
Think back to those many years ago when the Mars 500 was all anyone could talk about. A group of civilians that were being trained and sent to Mars as our civilian ambassadors on an alien world. Beamed back would be a reality show that would easily take down all others! Survivor in the Galaxy!
Above the Mars 500 crew members are viewed doing some testing simulated to be “on Mars”
There are so many positives to this announcement by Elon Musk & SpaceX and so many reasons to be filled with excitement. Sure, there is excitement when NASA discusses its plans for Mars. Its plans have kept me going, writing blogs and speculating about their possible changes to the plan, but NASA has some serious limitations starting with congress & finances. SpaceX has the luxury of setting its own spending limits and adding to them mid-plan if so needed.
For now we can take this news and come up with variations (much as I just did) regarding what exactly this means, but SpaceX has promised more information later this year; try to be patient!