This is a prediction where I pad the date to allow for various real life problems to slow down the development. I believe the manned fly by of Mars will happen in 2018.
Robert Zubrin is a highly opinionated and outspoken Mars advocate. A few years ago Robert Zubrin proposed going to Mars by 2016. His proposal was mostly technically feasible (although it was counting on using a Spacex Heavy which will not have its first flight until later this year. Also, the Spacex Heavy will not be man rated for a few years.) No group who actually do what Zubrin proposed has stepped up to it. Zubrin was not even predicting it would be done. Zubrin was basically making the technical argument that it should be done and we should accept risk in adventurous space missions.
Elon Musk’s estimate for a manned mission to Mars is 2024-2027
In 2012, Elon Musk told “Nightline” in an interview at SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles. “I think we’ll be able to send, probably, the first people to Mars in roughly 12 to 15 years. That’s my estimate.”
Note he said that Spacex would be able to send people to Mars around 2024-2027. This is different to saying that they would send people to Mars at that time. He is saying the capability would be there. If Dennis Tito is successful with the Mars flyby in 2018 then it will make it more than 60% likely there would be a human landing on Mars in 2025-2030. However, if the 2018 window is missed the next free return from Mars would be 2031. Therefore, I predicted a Mars colony by 2037. Current technology takes about 250 days to go one way to Mars. The capability will be there by 2027. The manned landing would be by 2024-2033. The base would be by 2028-2035.
Mars One – Could be successful but only if reusable Spacex Rocket is developed to bring the cost down
Mars One plans to establish the first human settlement on Mars by April 2023. The first crew of four astronauts emigrate to their new planet from Earth, a journey that takes seven months. A new team will join the settlement every two years. By 2033 there will be over twenty people living, working and flourishing on Mars, their new home.
The business plan is to use reality TV and other revenue to support the costs of the project.
Mars One has a bold plan, but I think they can only afford it if Spacex is successful with the reusable rocket to lower costs for going to space by 100 times.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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