Mars Society founder Dr Zubrin is credited with inspiring SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to set his sights on Mars. During a Reddit ‘ask me anything’ session, Dr Zubrin responded to a question about when the first human landing could take place.

The manned Mars mission advocate said: “Before 2030. SpaceX will do it, with NASA collaborating.

September sounds about right

Elon Musk

“If Starship is flying regularly to LEO [Low Earth Orbit] by 2024, the next president will ask his or her advisors: ‘Can wee [sic] get to Mars before the end of my second term?’

“The answer will be ‘yes’. so then it will happen.

“By making the mission practical, SpaceX will make it sellable.”

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Dr Zubrin also announced he wanted to encourage ‘more Elon Musks’ to take-up the cause and defend the vision for Mars in the public sphere.

After colonising Mars, Zubrin revealed the next giant leap would be ‘developing the main belt’ of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter.

SpaceX Starship could be the fully-reusable ship to achieve this Mars mission ambition.

Elon Musk last week shared an image on Twitter of two giant stainless steel tanks at the firm’s Boca Chica facility in Texas.

These tanks have made regular appearances in SpaceX tests, as the pioneering reusable rocket company piles on the pressure to check whether they are able to handle the brutal conditions of space.

The SpaceX head also suggested yesterday how his company could soon reveal more details about the Starship project.

In response to a Twitter post from space photographer Austin Barnard, Musk wrote September “sounds about right” for another presentation.

The image is a sneak-peek at the sort of scale SpaceX is aiming for with its cutting-edge spaceships.

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Since the rocket’s predecessor was first announced in September 2017, Starship has undergone numerous design changes and transformed into today fully-reusable stainless steel leviathan.

But with the first commercial flights not expected until 2021 at the earliest, size comparisons have so far been unclear.

The spaceship will measure somewhere close to 400ft (121m) in height, 30ft (9m) across, and offer space to send more than 150 tons or 100 people into space.

Wednesday’s image helps put all that in perspective. As noted by a Twitter user mattwgn1983 the top of the two giant tanks shows two workers getting the future of space travel ready to go.

These figures are dwarfed by the enormous size of the tanks are were practically eclipsed by their sheer size.

Fans will likely not have to wait long before learning more about the status quo of the Starship project.

Elon Musk has suggested SpaceX could host another Starship presentation in September, as it has done for the past four years.

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