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Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg challenges Elon Musk in a race to Mars

Posted by On April 15, 2018

Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg challenges Elon Musk in a race to Mars

Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster in space could be set for an unexpected reunion with its billionaire owner, courtesy of Boeing.

That's according to Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of SpaceX's rival who made the lighthearted comments during an interview at a Politico Space Forum.

Muilenberg said "we might pick up the one out there and bring it back", as he challenged Musk in a race to Mars, reports Daily Mail.

The Boeing boss believe he can get humans on the red planet in 10 years, a similar timeframe to that outlined by Elon Musk.

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Aerospace giant Boeing is working closely with Nasa on its Space Launch System (SLS) to take astronauts into space in future.

Nasa's Space Launch System has been dubbed a "megarocket" and is expected to launch for the first time in 2019.

It will carry out its maiden launch next year for an unmanned mission and then will launch astronauts into space via the Orion mission in 2023.

The SLS rocket will use upgraded RS-25 engines, which have proven their capabilities over 135 shuttle missions.

For the SLS vehicle, the engines will fire at 109 per cent thrust level and provide a combined two million pounds of thrust.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. Photo / Supplied

According to NASA, the engines are now being integrated into the rocket's core stage รข€" the largest ever built and taller than a 20-story building.

Nasa hopes the SLS will be used for missions to Mars and other planets deeper in the solar system.

With regards to the first step of conquering Mars, Mr Muilenberg said: "I'm convinced that the first person that gets to Mars is going to get there on a Boeing rocket."

Whilst there are definitive plans to take humans in to orbit and beyond, there are no intentions to launch a car.

When quizzed as to whether Boeing would be sending a Camaro into space, Mr Muilenburg quipped that he might bring it back to Earth.

This appears to be a dig at Musk and his Tesla Roadster that was sent into space on-board the first flight of SpaceX's powerful Falcon Heavy rocket back in February.

Mr Muilenburg said at the forum: "I certainly anticipate that we're going to put the first person on Mars during my lifetime, and I'm hopeful that we'll do it in the next decade."

"Space has always been part of the DNA of our company.

SpaceX shows the company's spacesuit in Elon Musk's red Tesla sports car which was launched into space during the first test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket. Photo / AP

"What we're working on today with Space Launch System is bigge r than the Apollo program.

"Most of the country doesn't know about it yet."

The comments that Boeing intends to put human beings on Mars in the next ten years come in the same week that SpaceX's president and COO, Gwynne Shotwell, made the claim.

Ms Shotwell said SpaceX will take humans to Mars "within a decade" at a TED conference in Vancouver on Wednesday.

The timing of these comments reignites the rivalry between the aerospace engineering behemoths.

In an interview in December of 2017, Muilenburg claimed that Boeing would beat Elon Musk to Mars.

A typically brief and direct response from the founder of Tesla, SpaceX and Paypal implied the challenge was accepted.

Simply tweeting "Do it", Musk clearly backs his own company to win the 21st century space race.

With a vastly different engineering model to previous space missions, SpaceX has revolutionised the way rockets are de signed and built

Ms Shotwell said the engineers are "able to let physics drive the design of these systems" and that they can design rockets with a "blank piece of paper".

As a result, more efficient and reusable models have been made, rapidly accelerating the timeline the company had for its space exploration programme.

Whilst SpaceX engineers have more working freedom, Boeing is restricted to making use of existing systems and refining antiquated technology.

Source: Google News US Science | Netizen 24 United States

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