Whenever companies engage in healthy competition and try to outsmart each other, they continuously come under the scrutiny of the market and investors. In the case of aircraft maker Boeing (BA) and Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, their shared aspiration to pioneer the NASA-sponsored Mars mission has left the business world speculating for long.
While it goes without saying that Musk is super excited, as usual, to have joined the NASA team to develop technology and build the spacecraft for the program, recent reports suggest that Boeing is also aiming for the sky when it comes to building the Mars rocket.
“The first person to step foot on Mars is going to get there on a Boeing rocket,” said Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg in an interview with The Economic Club this week. Clarifying on the duration of Mars trip being planned by NASA in association with Boeing, Muilenburg said his company’s version of space mission is always a ‘two-way trip.’
The shared aspiration of the companies to pioneer NASA’s Mars mission has left the business world speculating
According to Muilenburg, who has claimed on multiple occasions that Boeing’s rocket is much better than that of SpaceX, the spacecraft being built by the company is about 38 stories tall. The first test launch is expected to take place in two years, and a slingshot mission to the moon is planned before the final expedition to set up a lunar gateway.
Last month, the Boeing chief had lauded the government’s renewed focus on space exploration under President Donald Trump and exuded hope that Boeing’s satellites and orbit products would play a vital role in the multi-dimensional space program envisaged by the new administration.
It is a fact that the innovative method used by SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station has been widely lauded, which also gives it a competitive edge while pursuing the Mars program. Musk, who believes his company is ready to carry people to space by as early as April 2019, claims it would be a SpaceX vehicle that carries the first human to Mars.
Meanwhile, Muilenburg’s comments casting doubts over SpaceX’s competency and ability to deliver elicited a quick but harsh response from Musk, who took to the social media and challenged the former’s claims.