Elon Musk just unveiled more of his grand plan for colonizing Mars.
The hard-charging tech mogul said his rocket company, SpaceX, aims to land at least two cargo ships on the Red Planet in 2022 in order to place power, mining and life support systems there for future flights.
That’s just five years from now.
“That’s not a typo — although it is aspirational,” Musk said Friday during a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia. Ships carrying crews would arrive in 2024, he added.
To hit those deadlines, SpaceX plans to start building the first spaceship by the middle of next year, he said.
Musk revealed more details on the spacecraft — dubbed the BFR, or “Big F–king Rocket.” If he has his way, Mars colonizers will eventually travel in style in the BFR, which will accommodate around 100 people spread out over 40 cabins, and include large common areas and an entertainment system.
SpaceX has figured out a way to pay for the costly missions, according to Musk, but he shied away from giving specific numbers.
The company thinks it can make enough money from its current business of launching satellites and servicing the International Space Station to finance its Mars ambitions.
Musk isn’t the only one with his eyes on Mars.
Just hours before Musk took the stage in Australian city of Adelaide on Friday, Lockheed Martin ( touted its plans for a “Mars Base Camp” — a ) mobile space habitat that it’s developing for NASA. The system would work in tandem with Orion, the spacecraft NASA is developing for crewed missions to deep space.
Lockheed said the structure could be assembled at NASA’s Deep Space Gateway — a structure the agency is developing that would live in space between Earth and the Moon.
The company says it hopes to build and send the structure…