SpaceX has postponed the start of the first mission to Mars

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2017-02-19 18:15:32

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SpaceX has postponed the start of the first mission to Mars

Last year, SpaceX has talked about a bold plan: to launch the spacecraft Dragon to Mars in 2018. This must be the first ever private mission to the Red planet. But now, it seems that the company has postponed the mission for a couple of years. SpaceX President Gwynn, Shotwell confirmed that SpaceX is now considering year 2020 for Mars trip. This step will allow the company to better understand its other ambitious projects.

"We focused on 2018, but felt that we need more resources, and decided to focus more on our manned program and Heavy Falcon", said Shotwell during the pre-launch press conference at Cape Canaveral, Florida. "Thus, we are planning for 2020".

The Mission, known as "Red dragon" (Red Dragon), needs to verify the technology needed for landing heavy equipment on the Martian surface make it extremely difficult. Mars has a particularly thin atmosphere, providing very little friction to slow an incoming spacecraft. A heavy load increases the risk of collision with the ground. Even government agencies have had problems with this issue.

Unlike other re-entry vehicles for Mars vehicles, "Red dragon," SpaceX designed to fall to the surface using rocket engines built into its body — this technique is known as supersonic retro-movement. If successful, this device will be the largest of all that have ever landed on the red planet. But while we have to wait almost four years to see it. SpaceX had to postpone the mission two years, because a good opportunity to run was formed with the same interval. Travel to Mars best start every 26 months when the planet is aligned with Earth on its orbit.

Meanwhile, SpaceX now will have more time to work on his other big cases, for example, the first launch of the Falcon Heavy — a more heavy version of the Falcon 9 rocket — which is scheduled for this summer, according to Shotwell. Also SpaceX is upgrading its Dragon capsule, so she could carry astronauts to the International space station. The company intends to launch a crew aboard a spacecraft in 2018, but for different reasons this event is also can be postponed. Or rather could, if the Red Dragon mission took place according to the original schedule.

If SpaceX really launch your ship to Mars in 2020, it will have to fly shoulder to shoulder with other devices. NASA sends to Mars, the new Rover is also in 2020; also in the same year, will travel Rover mission ExoMars, a joint project of Roskosmos and the European space Agency. UAE plans to send an Orbiter to Mars, is also in 2020, while China expressed a desire to reach Mars by the end of the decade.

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