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SpaceX's blueprint to Mars presented in late September?
Going to the moon is like a stroll to the corner grocery store compared to going to Mars. One-way travel to Mars can take several months, compared to three days when going to the moon, and the launch window comes around only once every two years. Astronauts traveling to Mars are exposed to high radiation levels, cramped living conditions for an extended time, the detrimental health effects of microgravity, and lack of access to advanced medical care in case something goes wrong. And if fictionalized accounts of missions to Mars (and even some real robotic missions) have taught us anything, it's that the chances of something going wrong are high.
Despite the challenges, Earth has had its sights on Mars for centuries. In 1948, NASA rocket guru Wernher von Braun published the first technical analysis of what it would take to go to Mars. Since then, dozens of plans have been put forward, each with a launch date around 20-30 years in the future.
NASA is actively preparing for a Mars mission. The Orion crew capsule and Space Launch System rocket, both still in development and testing, are designed to be able to go to Mars. The current target launch date for a manned Mars mission is around 2035.
Private enterprise, already in the business of sending cargo to the International Space Station, has its own designs on sending humans to Mars. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, says he's working on a blueprint for a Mars mission that would launch in 2025 - a full decade before NASA. He has dropped hints about a methane-powered rocket booster and a crew module called the Mars Colonial Transporter designed to take permanent colonists, not just interloping astronauts, to the Red Planet.
Because of the challenges involved in going to Mars, Musk has repeatedly delayed unveiling his full blueprint and timeline. In January 2015, he promised a reveal by the end of that year, then pushed it to early 2016. Most recently, he's pegged the International Astronautical Congress, taking place September 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico, as the venue for showing off his plan for Mars colonization.
Will Elon Musk finally reveal his blueprint for sending humans to Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in September 2016?
For this question to resolve as positive, a credible media outlet or SpaceX corporate statement must report that on or before September 30, 2016, while at the International Astronautical Congress, Elon Musk has presented a detailed plan for sending humans to Mars.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.