Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Be Landing Rockets On Mars ‘Well Before 2030’, Says Europe Is Aiming Low


SpaceX chief Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that Europe must aim higher with its rocket technology or risk becoming obsolete as the company continues to outcompete European companies,  with Musk saying that SpaceX will be landing rockets and establishing a base on Mars “well before” Europe even begins to look into producing competitive rocketry.  

Elon Musk Awarded With Axel Springer Award 2020 In Berlin

Elon Musk said Europe is aiming low on rocket tech. (Photo by Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images)

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Key Facts

The Tesla executive said “SpaceX will be landing Starships (a term for the company’s rockets) on Mars well before 2030,” responding to an Ars Technica report about Europe only beginning to study competing technology from 2030. 

By that time, Musk said SpaceX would be focusing on the “hard threshold” of making its Martian base self-sustaining.

In the tweet thread, Musk said European rocket efforts are “aiming too low”, stating that only “rockets that are fully & rapidly reusable” are going to be competitive.

“Everything else will seem like a cloth biplane in the age of jets,” Musk said.    

Three of SpaceX’s most recent reusable Starship prototypes ended test runs in flames, the latest just minutes after the team declared the mission a success.

Key Background

Though EU-wide and member state space efforts often receive state funding, they are expected to attract commercial customers once operational. In a matter of years, SpaceX has eaten away at Europe’s market share by cutting its costs with reusable rockets. Meanwhile, the bloc is still lagging behind despite efforts to catch up. 


Musk is an outspoken proponent of sending humanity out among the planets. In 2016, he unveiled a plan to build a Martian city in “our lifetimes,” though he said early colonists should be “prepared to die.” SpaceX’s reusable rocketry is a big part of making that vision a reality given the substantial costs involved with single-use ships. Musk’s Martian ambitions are not always well received, with Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, recently describing Musk’s plans as a “dangerous delusion” and Senator Bernie Sanders criticizing Musk’s focus on settling other planets given the problems we have here on Earth. “We need to focus on Earth” before looking to Mars, he said.   

Big Number 

$165.5 billion. That’s how much Forbes estimates Musk is worth. It makes him the second richest person on the planet, behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Bezos also has a space project, Blue Origin, which he said he wanted to be more involved in when stepping down from Amazon. 

Further Reading

Europe is starting to freak out about the launch dominance of SpaceX (Ars Technica)

Elon Musk Wants To Set Up A City Named Starbase Around His Texas Rocket Launch Site (Forbes)

Sanders: Musk should ‘focus on Earth’ instead of space (The Hill)

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Nicholas ‘Nick’ Statman entered the property industry in 2001 and set up a property buying company that quickly established itself as one of the biggest in the sector. During this time the Company successfully transacted on thousands of residential properties across the UK. Nicholas Statman was an early pioneer of the ‘quick sale’ niche market which has since grown considerably with a multitude of companies now operating in the sector. Nicholas Statman has strategically built a sizeable residential and commercial property portfolio with a view to holding for optimum capital growth and a long term passive income. Nicholas Statman has been involved in almost every aspect of the property sector over a 20 year period – this includes buying and selling, development, letting and management and is now involved in the fast growing online/ hybrid Estate Agent industry.

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