Musk Postpones Spacex Mars 'Red Dragon' Mission To 2020, Needs More Resources

By Jomar Teves , Feb 22, 2017 03:33 AM EST

It has been reported that the proposed plan of SpaceX to send a robotic mission to Mars in 2018 has been postponed and changed to a new schedule. Now, reports have confirmed that the rover mission will be deferred for two more years.

SpaceX Red Dragon Mission Moved

Dubbed as the Red Dragon mission, it will instead be taking off in 2020 with due preparations, as per a statement coming from SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell. "We were pretty much focused on 2018, but we felt like we needed to input more resources and focus more heavily on our crew program, as well as our Falcon Heavy program, so we're looking for a more convenient schedule and the 2020 time frame would be perfect for that," Shotwell clarified.

About The Impending Mars Mission

Talking about the Red Dragon Mission, Tech Times reported that SpaceX will be using a modified Dragon V2 capsule for the mission. There are also plans for launching a rocket every 26 months to Mars whenever it is aligned with Earth, which will then conclude with the company's first manned mission to Mars in either 2024 or 2026.

In reference to Shotwell's statement, the Red Dragon mission is going to be an exciting operation as SpaceX will facilitate a lot of science experiments and payloads towards the Martian surface. Red Dragon will be carrying equipment that is going to be relevant for future Mars mission crew.

Tesla Mars Mission Will Also Benefit NASA

According to I4U News, being cost effective, the Red Dragon mission will also be beneficial for NASA in obtaining Mars samples for further study. The mission has the required systems to bring samples from Mars such as the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), some hardware, and the Earth Return Vehicle (ERV).

The Falcon Heavy rocket that is to be used for the Red Dragon mission will be the largest-ever launcher, capable of carrying heavy payloads to distant parts of the solar system.

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