There hasn’t been a serious space race since the Cold War, but now things are starting to heat up again. This time, it’s not between two nations, but rather between two commercial space companies based out of the United States.
SpaceX is one of those, and CEO Elon Musk wants to send mankind to the red planet sometime in the next couple of decades, but Boeing is another, and also wants to be a part of the commercial space industry, touting its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as being right for the job.
Boeing, no stranger to the space industry by any means, has essentially challenged SpaceX to a space race after Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s CEO, announced in a conference that he was confident the first person to land on Mars would do so using a Boeing rocket.
In case you were wondering where else Boeing has been a part of the space industry, it turns out they were the company behind the Saturn V rocket that took mankind to the Moon. With this experience under their belt, they may actually have what it takes to compete with the rocket-landing competitor SpaceX.
Both companies have agreements with NASA and fit the bill as possible candidates for space travel to the red planet, but both companies also have very different backgrounds. Boeing has a lot more experience under their belt, while SpaceX has a much more colorful imagination and lots of money to back it.
NASA, too, is interested in sending mankind to Mars, but Musk of SpaceX has been one of the most optimistic speakers about colonizing other planets in our solar system, illustrating the company’s interest in being the company to do so.
When it comes right down to who's going to get there first, that's not entirely the most important detail. This is something nobody has ever done before, and making sure it's done right so the astronauts will have everything they need to survive the trip and collonization of Mars is easily the most important detail of the trip.
Getting human beings to land on Mars undoubtedly one of the next major things space exploration and travel will see happen within the next few decades, but who will get there first? We’ll just have to wait and see.