SpaceX Lands People on Mars by 2030?

Your submission is now in Draft mode. Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

Question

SpaceX recently released a detailed plan (transcription and slides here) to send people to Mars using an "Interplanetary Transport System" based on heavily reusable launch boosters, tanker-assisted refueling in low-Earth orbit, and a futuristic interplanetary spaceship. The ship is to traverse deep space and land intact on Mars after a high-speed retro-assisted atmospheric entry. The system will rely on in-situ fuel generation on Mars for return journeys, and it is envisioned that destinations across the Solar System may be within its reach.

The timeline has not been set in stone, but Elon Musk has noted that if SpaceX "gets lucky and things go according to plan", a manned flight could launch in the 2024 window with a landing on Mars in 2025. Subsequent launch windows, which are dictated by the Earth-Mars synodic period, occur at a roughly 2-year cadence.

There have been numerous proposals over the years for landing people on Mars. Perhaps the first one that was both concrete and marginally credible was Wernher von Braun's Marsprojekt of the late 1940s and early 1950s. For the past six decades, trips to Mars have tended to lie 20-30 years in the future. The SpaceX plan is particularly notable for aggressively compressing the timeline.

Will a SpaceX-branded mission land people on Mars prior to Jan 1, 2030?

Make a Prediction

Prediction

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.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.

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.

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.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site