Elon Musk's promises speak of a rather close date for serious tests of the Starship spacecraft, which should begin flights to Mars. Nathan Eismont, a leading researcher at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said this on the air of Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, noting that this date could be 2025.
“But many people doubt, I am one of them, that it will work out. But even as a mobilization date, it sounds attractive. Let him be late for a couple of years, but still it will be a very serious achievement when it happens, ”the academician said.
Eismont said Amazon’s application for commercial travel to space also sounds very compelling, but it’s unclear what launch vehicles are in the pipeline.
“They actually exist, but are the vehicle manufacturers or launch service providers ready for this kind of commercial activity? It's pretty hard to say, although Musk had proposals of this kind, but there are many components here. One of the components, perhaps the most important, is the price, ”he said.
As the specialist noted, in this case, different numbers can be called. The last one he heard was about $ 50 million. In his opinion, $ 50 million “looks like a figure close to commercial feasibility, but this is still at the level of talks.” Eismont clarified that it is difficult to name the price, not because it is impossible to calculate how much it costs now, but because it is difficult to calculate how much it will cost if there is such a commercial undertaking.
Recall that the Musk company is developing a Starship spacecraft for flights to Mars. In his opinion, SpaceX will begin to fly and land such ships “long before 2030”, but the main problem is to create a “self-sufficient base” on the Red Planet. Musk has already announced his desire to build a “self-sufficient city” on Mars to “ensure the continuation of life in the event that a meteorite falls on Earth or the Third World War occurs and we destroy ourselves.” In addition, he claimed that he was going to send a million people to the neighboring planet by 2050.