Musk says SpaceX to land Starship rockets on Mars well before 2030

SpaceX launches its first super heavy-lift Starship SN8 rocket during a test from their facility in Boca Chica, Texas, US, Dec 9, 2020. (File photo by Reuters)

SpaceX launches its first super heavy-lift Starship SN8 rocket during a test from their facility in Boca Chica, Texas, US, Dec 9, 2020. (File photo by Reuters)

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BENGALURU (March 23): Elon Musk's SpaceX will be landing its Starship rockets on Mars well before 2030, the billionaire entrepreneur said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The private space company had raised about $850 million in equity financing in February even as a prototype of its Starship rocket exploded during a landing attempt after a high-altitude test launch.

The SN9 prototype was a test model of the heavy-lift rocket being developed by SpaceX to carry humans and 100 tons of cargo on future missions to the moon and Mars.

Musk, who leads several futuristic companies, including Tesla Inc, Neuralink and Boring Co, said on Tuesday the "really hard threshold is making Mars Base Alpha self-sustaining." 

A first orbital flight is planned for year's end. Musk has said that he intends to fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon with the Starship in 2023.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)