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Musk's SpaceX plans human trips to Mars by 2024

Staff Writer |
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk outlined plans Friday to begin cargo flights to Mars by 2022 and human landings there two years later -- just seven years from now.

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Musk told the International Aeronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, that his company is preparing a fleet of reusable rockets and a spacecraft with accommodations for up to 100 people.

His plans include unmanned missions to Mars in five years and manned space flights by 2024 by scaling up the current SpaceX Flacon 9 rockets, the not-yet-flown Falcon Heavy rocket and the Dragon spacecraft for cargo and crew.

The new project is called BFR - an acronym SpaceX says stands for "Big Friggin' Rocket."

In tests so far, 12 consecutive Falcon 9 rockets have successfully been fired and landed, demonstrating the cost savings of a first-stage rocket can be reused.

The company currently has 70 satellite launch orders valued at $10 billion, 20 NASA International Space Station resupply contracts worth $2 billion and a $2.6 billion contract to build a piloted Dragon capsule for carrying personnel to and from the International Space Station, CBS News reported.

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