SpaceX Mars Delivery Service: Elon Musk Opens Cargo Shipping to the Red Planet Because Why Not?

Advanced rocket and spaceship manufacturer SpaceX is apparently launching the the first ever payload service to a different planet.

SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk declared on Twitter last month that they are planning to send a Red Dragon Space Capsule to Mars "as soon as 2018". SpaceX's long-term goal is to bring people from Earth to Mars, with Musk giving himself a 2025 deadline, The Motley Fool reports.

So what's the short term goal? SpaceX's latest update has added a new destination to their Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch services, stating that people can now sign up for "payload to Mars", making the company the only private company to do so.

The company is offering to send up to 4,020kg worth of cargo to Mars on the Falcon 9 for a cool $62M. The Falcon Heavy, once it is ready for deployment, can take up to 13,600kg payload for $90M.

SpaceX's "standard payment plan" also includes transport of 5.5 metric tons of cargo on the Falcon 9 to Earth's geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and up to 8 metric tons on the Falcon Heavy.

According to the SpaceX website, the company extends discounts for "contractually committed, multi-launch purchases". In addition, the Space company also declared that it offers crew transportation services to commercial customers who wants to send astronauts to alternate Low Earth Orbits (LEO).

"Enabling regular and safe human transportation into space is one of the founding goals of SpaceX," the description on its SpaceX Crew Program stated. "To this end, SpaceX is a leading participant in NASA's Commercial Crew program to develop the technologies and systems necessary for human carriage to the International Space Station."

The Motley Fool reports that SpaceX is currently not offering to send people to Mars and is limited to cargo at the moment. With the continuing success of the company, however, it is just a matter of time before Earth starts sending people to the Red Planet.

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