|Above: An artists impression of the Red Dragon capsule landed on Mars. Courtesy of SpaceX.|
- Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder, has spoken in the past of hugely ambitious Mars missions.
- His ultimate goal is private manned missions and a colony.
- SpaceX have had a Mars adapted version of their Dragon spacecraft, called the Red Dragon, in planning for a while now.
- Red Dragon will land a payload 5 to 10 times bigger than any previous mission, using rocket motors to slow it's descent.
- The science payload hasn't been described yet, but may include a sample return mission.
- Red Dragon will be a huge step towards the Dragon 2 craft, which will be able to land anywhere in the solar system.
- It will launch on SpaceX's Falcon heavy rocket.
|Above: A dragon capsule conducts landing tests, using a similar 'propulsive landing' to that described for the Red Dragon variant.|