SpaceX’s latest mission a pivotal move in Elon Musk’s Mars exploration plan

The first step in the direction that'll take us to Mars.
  • SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is taking a NASA explorer to the Moon
  • The lunar lander, dubbed ‘Odysseus’, will collect data for future manned lunar missions
  • This is the first step in the direction that will, Musk would say hopefully, take us to Mars

Published on Feb 15, 2024 at 9:30PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 16, 2024 at 7:46PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray

The Space Race is back on, and there are new players on board.

One of these key players is Elon Musk, with his company SpaceX, which just completed a new launch, paving the way for future missions for an important reason.

READ MORE: What Concorde would look like if it were still around today

The ‘Space Race’ was a big deal in the 1960s and 1970s, and then it progressively died away.

Now, though, everybody is paying attention again.

Just a few months ago, India made history after becoming the fourth country to reach the Moon and the first one to do so on the south pole.

The Moon’s south pole, incidentally, is where Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 is headed.

What makes this launch particularly significant is, this will be the first-ever private spacecraft to reach the Moon.

And there are other important reasons as well.

Falcon 9 is just the vehicle used by NASA’s Odysseus, a lunar lander, to reach Earth’s satellite.

The lander is carrying six NASA payloads of instruments designed to collect data for the proposed Artemis astronaut Moon missions.

Musk, who’s always been obsessed with ‘colonizing Mars’, believes this is the first step towards that ambitious goal.

So far, we’ve never set foot on Mars, but our vehicles have.

Several unmanned spacecraft have reached the Red Planet, including NASA’s Perseverance.

Thanks to NASA’s other major Mars explorer, the Ingenuity helicopter, we also have a pretty clear idea of what the surface of Mars looks like.

Unfortunately, during its last mission, the helicopter crashed upon landing and it’s now broken.

But there’s nothing to worry about because NASA is already working on its successor.

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