Space news: Elon Musk SpaceX rocket to put astronaut on Mars in 20 years says Tim Peake | Science | News

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Mr Peake, who was the first British astronaut to be sent to the International Space Station by the European Space Agency, has hailed that humanity is about to enter a “very exciting” era of space exploration.

Heaping praise onto Mr Musk’s private space enterprise he described how private investment could help accelerate the speed at which an initial flight to Mars might take place.

He said: “Humans on Mars — I think will be the late 2030s.

“That’s what the government space agencies and the International Space Exploration Group are working towards.

“It could be that some of [these people’s] programs bring that date forward.

“But, the late 2030s would be a realistic time frame.”

“What could throw a big bowling ball through all that is commercial space flight.”

Earlier this month SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space.

It was successfully launched and retrieved earlier this month from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Mr Peake continued: “We have seen the ambitions of people like Elon Musk, there are several other companies that also have ambitions to send people to Mars.

“I think that we will end up working very closely with these companies in public-private partnerships when we eventually go to Mars.”

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket currently in operation.

The Deep Space Gateway, a space station project run by multiple agencies, aims to launch manned missions to Mars.

Mr Peake has said he believes the new space project will be vital for furthering space exploration.

He said: “The Deep Space Gateway paves the way for both lunar landings and, because of the orbit it will be in, that paves the way for a Mars transportation system.”

Without the input of companies like SpaceX, the new gateway wouldn’t have the funds to exist.

Elon Musk’s company are set to continue to test their rockets throughout the year as they continue their mission to be the first company to send a person to Mars.

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